Yorkshire may have to wait to host the start of La Vuelta after organisers of the Spanish Grand Tour announced on Wednesday its 2020 edition would begin in Utrecht and Noord-Brabant.
Yorkshire is in talks to host the first three days of the race in the near future and 2021 had been suggested as a possibility, but La Vuelta seems unlikely to start outside Spain for two years running given its limited history of leaving home turf, making 2022 or 2023 more feasible options.
Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity is due to travel to Spain at the start of next week for further discussions.
Talks have turned to when, not if, La Vuelta visits the region, which hosted the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France and will host the UCI Road World Championships next September.
The 2020 Vuelta will be only the fourth edition of the race to start abroad, following Lisbon in 1987, Assen in 2009 and Nimes in 2017.
Utrecht hosted the start of the Tour de France in 2015 and a stage of the Giro d’Italia in 2010.
The 2020 Vuelta will start with a team time trial in Utrecht before a second stage from ‘s-Hertogenbosch to Utrecht. The third stage will head into the province of Noord-Brabant with a stage starting and finishing in Breda.
In a release, Vuelta director Javier Guillen said he was “impatient” to experience a second Dutch start to the race given the “passion felt by the Dutch for cycling and the whole universe surrounding this sport”.