The 2023 Vuelta a Espana is set to start in Barcelona, the first time the Catalan city has hosted the race start since 1962. The agreement was announced on Monday morning, with the race set to start with a team time trial and the first road stage of the race will also start and finish in the city. The agreement over the 2023 race start came about after several weeks of talks between race director Javier Guillén and Barcelona City Council sports councillor David Escudé.
“The grand start is an event within the event, for all that it entails,” Guillén said. “The presentation of the 2023 route, the promotion for the race in Barcelona, and the presentation of the teams before the first stage. It will be a great cycling festival.”
It’s not yet known what areas of Barcelona the race will visit. Barcelona deputy mayor Jaume Collboni suggested that famous attractions such as the Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, the Camp Nou football stadium, or Montjuïc Park might be on the menu. “We want the race to go through the most iconic places of the city but without forgetting the neighbourhoods,” he said.
Next year’s race will mark the first time the race has visited Barcelona since 2012, when Philippe Gilbert won a transitional stage 9 from Andorra. Before that, the race last visited in 1999, the Vuelta won by Jan Ullrich.
While the location for the start of the race has been announced, the remainder of the 2023 route between Barcelona and the Spanish capital Madrid has yet to be decided. Given Catalunya’s proximity to the Pyrenees, an early visit to the mountains could be on the cards, though a more logical route for the race to take would be to head inland towards Aragon or south along the Balearic coast.
In recent years, the race has started in both the north – Burgos and Irún – and the south – Málaga and Torrevieja – of Spain, while this year the race will start abroad in the Netherlands with a depart from Utrecht before returning to Spain for stage 4. It’s the most far-flung start for the race since 2009, when the Netherlands also played host at Assen motor racing circuit.
Shuaeeb Is a seasoned sportswriter, social worker, and philanthropist. He has been renowned for his support of disabled sports persons and championing for equal rights and opportunities for all sports persons. He is also a father of 4 children and married to His partner Moana who is of Australian descent. He currently does sports volunteering and disability support work aside from writing for this August media.