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Vuelta a España negotiates return to Netherlands in 2015

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The Assen racetrack

The Assen racetrack (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Expect a sea of orange when the Vuelta kicks off in Assen on Saturday

Expect a sea of orange when the Vuelta kicks off in Assen on Saturday (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The Assen time trial circuit - slippery when wet.

The Assen time trial circuit - slippery when wet. (Image credit: Elmar Krings)

The Vuelta a España is in negotiations for a return by the race to the Netherlands in 2015, race director Javier Guillén told Cyclingnews, with another start in Holland “a real possibility in three years’ time.”

In the 2009 Vuelta, tens of thousands of fans packed out Assen’s motorbike circuit to watch Fabian Cancellara claim his first ever Vuelta stage win and lead, and even more were present on the roadsides as the race headed south and east over four days through Holland before culminating with a brief incursion into Germany and a final stage finish in Liège, Belgium. The Vuelta then headed back to Spain for a rest day and then a stage from Tarragona to Vinaros.

“We would like to have another start in Holland and it’s a real possibility,” Guillen told Cyclingnews. “In fact we’ve had a delegation from the ‘Dutch Vuelta commission’ here in this year’s race. But nothing as yet is decided. There’s a long way to go yet.”

The reason for making a potential start a long way off in time, too, is that “it’s not something you can plan overnight. There’s a lot of logistical considerations, you need time to exploit all the publicity potential for a Netherlands start that such an event can produce, and on top of that, 2015 is also a date which suits the Dutch. 2013 and 2014 weren’t so good.”

“We can’t take a start there for granted. But the experience we had of the Vuelta in Holland in 2009 was really positive, and I think at some point we will have to repeat it.”

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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.