Race pedals through Md. for 3rd time

February 03, 1994|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Western Maryland Bureau of The Sun

HAGERSTOWN -- Cyclists from around the world will again race along northern Maryland roads -- with a finish line in Hagerstown -- during a stage of the 1994 Tour DuPont, the nation's premier cycling event.

The 115-mile second stage of the Tour DuPont will begin in Port Deposit and cross through Jarrettsville, Hampstead, Westminster, Middleburg, Thurmont and Smithsburg before ending at Washington and Potomac streets in downtown Hagerstown.

For the third straight year, Hagerstown will be the only Maryland community to serve as a finishing point for a stage of the race.

Patterned after the Tour de France's point-to-point racing, the 1,000-mile Tour DuPont is to begin May 4 in Wilmington, Del., and crosses through Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina before ending 11 days later in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Port Deposit-to-Hagerstown stage on May 6 will be the only leg of the race in Maryland.

About 120 cyclists from 15 countries are expected to compete for $250,000 in cash and prizes in the sixth annual race, which has grown in stature since its beginnings as the Tour de Trump six years ago.

About 20 million viewers in 93 countries watched daily broadcasts of the event last year, organizers said.

Two of America's premier bicyclists, Greg LeMond, three-time Tour de France winner, and Lance Armstrong, who placed second in 1993's Tour DuPont, are expected to announce soon whether they will compete again this year, said Steven G. Brunner, a Tour spokesman.

During the race's Maryland stage, cyclists will face the first serious hills of the Tour, a 1,200-foot climb over Catoctin Mountain along Route 77 west of Thurmont, near the Pennsylvania line in Frederick County. Sprint lines (races within the race) will be conducted in Jarrettsville, Westminster and Thurmont, organizers said.

"We have only kept three of the same courses from last year, and this is one of them," said Michael Plant, president of Medalist Sports Inc., the Tour's operator. "It shows how much we like this course. The crowds in Hagerstown have always been good."

Brunner described the course as one of the most beautiful in the race -- one that impressed cyclists and organizers last year with its farms, rolling countryside and mountainous terrain.

Dave Barnhart, coordinator of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, said about 18,000 spectators will line downtown streets and the route leading into Hagerstown on the day of the race.

"We could not buy the coverage the Tour DuPont brings to [Hagerstown]," said Bob O'Connor, director of the Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The 1994 Tour DuPont

Here's the day-by-day schedule for this year's Tour DuPont,

including one stage through northern Maryland.

DATE.. .. ..STAGE .. ..EVENT.. ..MILES .. ....WHERE

May 4 .. .. 1.. .. .. Prologue .. 2.98 .. .. .Wilmington, Del.

May 5 .. .. 1 .. .. ..Road race ..75.0 .. .. .Dover to Wilmington, Del.

May 6 .. .. 2 .. .. ..Road race ..115.0 .. .. Port Deposit to

.. .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Hagerstown, Md.

May 7 .. .. 3 .. .. ..Road race ..101.0 .. .. Fredericksburg to

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... . Richmond, Va.

May 8 .. .. 4 .. .. ..Road race.. 131.0 .. .. Richmond to Lynchburg,

.. .. ... ... ... .... ... ... ... ... ... ...Va.

May 9 .. .. 5 .. .. ..Time trial..22.9 .. .. .Roanoke, Va.

May 10 .. .. 6 .. .. ..Road race ..138.0 .. ..Lynchburg to

.. ... ... ... .... ... ... ... ... ... ... ..Blacksburg, Va.

May 11 .. .. 7 .. .. ..Road race ..125.0.. .. Wythevi'e, Va. to Beech

.. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .... ... ... ..Mtn.,N.C.

May 12 .. .. 8 .. .. ..Road race ..125.0.. .. Banner Elk to Asheville,

.. ... ... ... .... ... ... ... ... ... ... ..N.C.

May 13 .. .. 9 .. .. ..Road race.. 134.0 .. ..Asheville to Charlotte,

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... . N.C.

May 14 .. ..10 .. .. ..Road race .. 75.5 .. . Concord to High Point,

... ... .... .... .... .... ... .... ... ... .N.C.

May 15 .. ..11 .. .. Time trial.. 16.6 .. .. .Kernersville to Win.-Salem,

.. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .. N.C.

@SOURCE: Tour DuPont

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