The 2015 Vuelta a España might start in the Dutch town of Emmen with a team time trial, AD.nl reported today. The town hosted the finish of stage 2 in 2009, when Gerald Ciolek sprinted to victory, and according to the race committee's head Jos Vaessen, the success of that event has given his town the edge in the competition for the 2015 depart of the Spanish Grand Tour.
The proposed course incorporates the Afsluitdijk, a 32km causeway which provided a dramatic backdrop for the race in 2009, either as part of a team time trial or a normal stage.
"It is 99 percent sure that the team time trial - the opening of the Vuelta - will go to Emmen," Vaessen said, adding that the Afsluitdijk was a major factor in the bidding. "They see it would make for good TV pictures," he said. "A dam like that is unique in Europe, in Spain they have no such thing. We are now looking at it. Maybe we can start halfway across the dam."
In addition to the team time trial, the Dutch bid includes three stages spread across the three northern provinces.