Barcelona will host the first two stages of the 2023 La Vuelta a España for the first time since 1962. The opening stage will be a team time trial through the city centre, a very different send off from that of 60 years ago when the race ended in an uphill sprint to Montjuïc castle.
“For La Vuelta to start in Barcelona is a dream come true,” said Javier Guillén, General Director of La Vuelta. “I’m particularly grateful for the effort, passion and excitement that the Deputy Mayor has put into this project. Cycling is a sport with a strong popular following, currently placed at number two in terms of viewing and practice within Europe. Bikes are an essential element in the sustainable development of cities, which is why we’re so thrilled to be able to participate in this project.”
The last time La Vuelta a España set a wheel in Barcelona was stage 9 of the 2012 edition. The stage started in the mountains of Andorra and worked its way down to the capital of Catalonia. A category three climb with 3 km to go inspired several attacks, including one from Alberto Contador, however, it was Philippe Gilbert who took the victory in a two-up sprint against Joaquim Rodriguez.
The 2022 edition of La Vuelta a España is set to start in Utrecht, in the Netherlands, with an individual time trial on August 19th.