By Agence France Presse

The leader of next year’s Vuelta a España will wear a red jersey instead of the current gold to mark the 75th anniversary of the event, organizers announced Tuesday.

The colour of the leader’s jersey has changed several times since the event began, with red being used only once, in 1945, Spanish media said.

It was orange for the inaugural event in 1935, a color that was also used in 1936, 1942 and 1977. It was white just once, in 1941, and white with a horizontal red line between 1946 and 1950.

After the Vuelta took a break for four years, it returned in 1955 with the leader in yellow, the same color as for the Tour de France and which it retained until 1998, when it became gold.

In other news, the 2010 Vuelta will depart from the southwestern city of Sevilla, with a time-trial along the banks of the River Guadalquivir, race director Javier Guillen announced in the central town of Ciudad Real.

“In 2010, the Vuelta will have been in existence for 75 years and a date as symbolic as that requires a framework consistent with the history and tradition of the best race in Spain and one of the best in the world,” Guillen told a news conference.

He said the presentation of the Vuelta 2010 will be made in Seville and not in Madrid as is usually the case.

Guillen also confirmed that the Vuelta will return to the popular climbs in Asturias and the Pyrénées in 2010. With its start in Holland, this year’s race avoided the climbs of northern Spain and hugged the Mediterranean Coast instead.