Lance Armstrong

Maryland wants to recycle cross-state bike race

Fourteen years after the annual mid-Atlantic cycling race Tour Du Pont abruptly ended, state officials and cycling enthusiasts are trying to bring a race to Maryland in 2012 that could generate as much as $40 million in annual spending.

Tour de Maryland would be a seven-day cycling event covering roads in all five regions of the state — Southern, central and Western Maryland; the Eastern Shore and the capital region, according to Terry Hasseltine, the state’s director of sports marketing who is trying to position the race as a mid-spring precursor to the Tour de France.

“It’s a great way to showcase the state’s tourism assets, and it draws a major international following,” Hasseltine said. “We’re talking the likes of Lance Armstrong and others participating.”