The 2022 Vuelta a España will start in the Netherlands
Next year’s Vuelta a España will begin in the Netherlands. With a team time trial in Utrecht and two flat stages, the Tour of Spain returns to the low countries for the first time since 2009.
“To return to The Netherlands, which is the quintessential cycling nation, is something we’ve been wanting to do for a very long time,” said Vuelta race director Javier Guillèn. “Holland is a guarantee for success in terms of organization and I have no doubt that, despite the complexity of the current situation, we will be able to carry out the event safely and successfully.”
The start of the Vuelta was already scheduled for the Netherlands in 2020 but it was cancelled due to travel restrictions caused by the pandemic. Dutch regional authorities also didn’t want a race behind closed doors in the cold month of November and the race start was moved to the Basque Country instead.
“In 2020 we were forced to make a decision that we never wanted to make, but which we were compelled to make given the circumstances,” Guillèn said. “Despite everything, the Netherlands’ commitment and wish to host La Vuelta hasn’t changed a bit since then. It’s a pleasure for us to work with institutions that are so committed and that love cycling as much as they do.”
Just like the Tour de France in 2015, the 2020 Vuelta will start with a time trial in Utrecht. Unlike the Tour de France, the Vuelta will start with a team time trial, as it often does. The stage will start at the Jaarbeurs conference center before going through the middle of the country’s fourth-biggest city. Apart from the occasional bridge it’s flat but technical.
In 2022 the second stage starts in Den Bosch, about 45 minutes south of Utrecht, before finishing back in Utrecht. The third stage starts and finishes in Breda. The stages are mostly flat apart from the 69-metre-high Amerongse Berg on day two. After three days the peloton has a rest / travel day to return to Spain.
With the start of the Vuelta, Utrecht becomes the first city to host all three Grand Tours. In 2010 the Giro d’Italia started in Amsterdam but the second stage won by Tyler Farrar finished in Utrecht. In 2015 Utrecht hosted the Tour de France Grand Départ. Rohan Dennis won the time trial and the first yellow jersey that day.
It’s the fourth time the Vuelta a España starts outside of Spain. In 1997 the race departed from Lisbon, Portugal, in 2009 from Assen, the Netherlands, and in 2017 the race started inside the bullfighting arena of Nîmes, France. In 2021 the race starts inside the world-famous cathedral of Burgos, Spain.