Vuelta a España set for another team time trial to start the 2023 edition

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA SPAIN SEPTEMBER 05 A general view of Lennard Hofstede of Netherlands Steven Kruijswijk of Netherlands Robert Gesink of Netherlands Sepp Kuss of United States Primoz Roglic of Slovenia red leader jersey Nathan Van Hooydonck of Belgium Sam Oomen of Netherlands and Koen Bouwman of Netherlands and Team Jumbo Visma celebrate winning on the podium ceremony in the Plaza del Obradoiro with the Cathedral in the background after the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 21 a 338 km Individual Time Trial stage from Padrn to Santiago de Compostela lavuelta LaVuelta21 ITT on September 05 2021 in Santiago de Compostela Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images
Primoz Roglic celebrates a third Vuelta a España victory with his Jumbo-Visma team in 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The Vuelta a España has announced that its 2023 edition will start with a team time trial for a second successive year.

For the first time in over half a century, the Vuelta is due to start next year in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, kicking off on Saturday, August 26, a full week later than in 2022. 

The later Vuelta start date is partly explained by the shift in the calendar for the UCI World Championships, brought forward to August next year and incorporating multiple different events including road, MTB and track. The last World Championships race will be on Sunday, August 13.

The Vuelta’s inclusion of a team time trial for a second year running will once gain test riders in an increasingly rarely used discipline in Grand Tours, although the Vuelta begins with a TTT this year for the first time since 2019.  

The Barcelona TTT will be just 14 kilometres long, L’Equipe reported Friday, roughly half the distance of the Utrecht event this Friday. However, the 2023 Vuelta TTT will have an uphill finish in Montjuic Park in central Barcelona, a much tougher challenge than Utrecht’s totally flat route.

Montjuic Park has strong historic connections with cycling in Spain and even had its own race, the late season Circuito a Montjuic, for many years. It is still regularly used as a finish for the last stage of the Volta a Catalunya and also hosted a World Championships way back in 1973. The last time the Vuelta had a start or finish of any kind in Barcelona was in 2012, also in Montjuic, while the last time the Vuelta started in the Catalan capital was far less recent, in 1962.

It is not known where the 2023 Vuelta will head after its opening TTT, although there are rumours of an incursion into France. A return to the Pyrenees, missing from the Vuelta's route since a single summit finish stage back in 2020, is also said to be on the cards.

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, 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. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.