Leonardtown Turns Down Bike Race - Southern Maryland Headline News

Leonardtown Turns Down Bike Race

By Guy Leonard, The County Times

HOLLYWOOD, Md.—For years the Leonardtown Criterion, a bicycle race that necessitated closing down two main roads in town, has called the town its home, but the town council announced Monday the race would no longer be welcome.

Leonardtown mayor Dan Burris said that years ago the bicycle race through town was good for what businesses were there but now that the town has redeveloped more successfully the race causes more problems.

“When they first started we had 15 or 16 boarded buildings in town and it wasn’t such an issue,” Burris said.

The race lasted all day when it was running and the town had to shut down Washington Street and Lawrence Avenue to complete the circuit for the bicyclists.

“That creates a real issue, shutting down Washington Street and Lawrence Avenue,” said Town Administrator Laschelle McKay. “It creates a hardship on residents and businesses.”

McKay said the Pax Velo group that sponsored the Leonardtown Criterium was deeply disappointed to have their efforts denied by the town and expressed their feelings in a letter to the Town Council, but the town’s position was firm.

During the 2010 race, several bicyclists were injured when their tires were punctured by construction debris on the racecourse that led to them crashing.

Racers said someone had been throwing thumbtacks down on the ground all day long during the race.

Police began an investigation but have not made any arrests in the incident.

Read more local news stories in The County Times at http://ct.somd.com/

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