Press Release

Post-Pandemic, Flower Mart Criterium Bicycle Races Return to Baltimore—With Boost From Ballard Spahr

May 23, 2022

Returning after a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Flower Mart Criterium bicycle race series rolled back into Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon Place this spring for the first time since 2019.

The 2022 series was presented by bicycle clubs Baltimore Bicycle Works Racing and Baltimore Youth Cycling, in partnership with another club, PMA Velo, and the Maryland Sports Commission. Ballard Spahr worked with the presenters to create a new sponsorship this year, providing free entry into races for people of color and other underrepresented groups. The effort was part of the presenters’ ongoing mission to support underrepresented groups in bike racing.

“The return of the Flower Mart Criterium marks another turning point in Baltimore’s emergence from the pandemic,” said Ballard Spahr Baltimore office Managing Partner Jon Laria, who spearheaded the sponsorship effort for the firm. He is also an avid rider and serves as Chair of the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Commission in Baltimore.

“Everyone felt energized to be together in person again for a great event that showcases our city and promotes a great sport,” Mr. Laria said. “Baltimore is a terrific place to ride, and we want people of all backgrounds to enjoy that aspect of the city.”

The criterium races—in which riders repeat laps of a road loop closed to traffic—capped off Flower Mart, a 111-year-old weekend-long public festival in late April. Riders ranging from youth competitors to masters raced on the “technical turns, gnarly downhill corners” and other challenging course features at Mount Vernon Place.

For media inquiries, please contact Bill Shralow at 215.864.8195.

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