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Barcelona to host start of the 2023 Vuelta a España

Enric Mas, Primoz Roglic and Jack Haig on the final podium of the Vuelta a Espana in 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The 2023 Vuelta a España 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.

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Daniel Ostanek
Daniel Ostanek

Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.