La Vuelta 20 will consist of 18 stages and will take off from the Basque Country
April 29 th 2020 - 17:28 [GMT + 2]
The La Vuelta organisation, in accordance with the UCI (International Cycling Union), agreed to delay the race’s 75th edition. La Vuelta 20 was originally going to take place from the 14th of August to the 6th of September, departing from the Netherlands. However, the necessary reorganisation of the annual cycling calendar, due to the global health crisis caused by COVID-19, has forced these plans to change. In the end, La Vuelta 20 – whose new dates haven’t been determinate by the UCI yet - will consist of 18 stages and will take off from the Basque Country.
Following the official cancelation of La Vuelta 20’s official departure from The Netherlands, Unipublic, as the race organiser, has decided not to replace the three first stages – which were going to travel through the Dutch regions of Utrecht and North Brabant – and instead begin the Spanish tour with the Irun – Arrate. Eibar stage. This is what has been communicated to the UCI in the aim that the cycling regulatory body could be able to reorganise the calendar with a Vuelta consisting of 20 days, instead of the original 23.
This decision has been motivated by the exceptional situation brought about by the health crisis currently affecting every industry, including sports. “Obviously, when you design the race, you hope to never have to make changes of this magnitude, but we have to be sensible with the current situation and we have to accept that it is very difficult to replace an official departure at this late stage, given all the institutional and logistic planning that it involves”, stated Javier Guillén, Director of La Vuelta.
A HISTORICAL EDITION
With its new configuration, La Vuelta’s 75th edition will be a historical race in many aspects. It will be the first time in the past 35 years that it consists of fewer than 21 stages. The last time this happened was in 1985, with an edition featuring 19 stages. It will also be the first time since Unipublic took over control of the race in 1979 that La Vuelta will take off from the Basque Country. It has been almost five decades since Euskadi last hosted the race’s official departure. In 1961, La Vuelta took off from San Sebastián, with a team time trial featuring both the starting-line and finish-line in the city.
“To have that passion for cycling that is so present in the Basque Country from the very first day makes this change in plans much more pleasant”, added Guillén. “In any case, we only hope that this unprecedented health crisis is resolved soon, that we can all return to normal, including La Vuelta – that will again consist of its traditional format and duration of 21 stages and two rest days in 2021”, he concluded.