Shortened Vuelta a España to begin in Irún

File photo of the Vuelta passing through the Basque Country.
File photo of the Vuelta passing through the Basque Country. / SUR
  • Originally scheduled to depart from the Netherlands, this year's edition will now only comprise 18 stages

The 75th edition of the Vuelta a España will have only eighteen stages, it has been announced, after organisers Unipublic reconfigured the event in light of the disruption caused by the pandemic.

The starting point for La Vuelta, originally set to take place from 14 August to 6 September, was supposed to be in the Netherlands, with the first three stages occurring in the Utrecht and North Brabant regions. However, these stages have now been removed but not replaced. This means that the first stage will now be between Irún and Arrate Eibar - the first time in almost five decades that the Basque Country has hosted the first stage (the last time was San Sebastián in 1961).

Clash with the Giro

The timing of the rescheduled event is far from ideal, however. In its new calendar published this week, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has pencilled in La Vuelta for 20 October to 8 November, starting five days before the Giro d'Italia will finish.

The packed autumn schedule will mean that the biggest names in cycling will have to prioritise.