There are more hints of what the 2023 Vuelta a España will look like, with an expected return to the Pyrénées and the Angliru.
The Vuelta route is expected to be unveiled in December, yet media leaks and reports have already revealed a few interesting details.
“It will be very different than this year’s course,” Vuelta boss Javier Guillén told AS. “We will follow our own identity and I believe people will like what they see. There can always be surprises and I think that’s a good thing. We are thinking of a few things, so let’s see if we can make it happen.”
What’s already confirmed is that Barcelona will host the race start on August 26 with three stages in the bustling city’s first time since 1962 to see the Vuelta. The opening stage will be a 14km team time trial followed by a stage on the city streets of Barcelona and ending atop the Alto de Montjuic. A third stage will push west.
Pyrénées, Angliru will be back
Guillén said last month he wants the race to have an “international” feel, but with the race starting in Catalunya and ending in Madrid on September 17, so that could mean the race might dip into France.
Vuelta organizers saw critics after the Pyrénées were left out of the 2022 route, but race boss Guillén promises the pirineos will be back for next year’s edition.
Andorra is expected to be featured before the first week is out.
Spain’s Navarra region will host two summit finales, according to the Dario de Navarra. The region is home to Team Movistar and Miguel Indurain, and hints are the race will hit Larrau as well as a summit finish at San Miguel de Aralar.
The Vuelta isn’t expected to push south into Spain’s Andalucia region, which played a key role in the second half of the 2022 edition that delivered Belgium’s first grand tour victory in decades with Remco Evenepoel.
The race is expected to hover in the northern half of Spain, moving west from Navarra across Castilla y León and into Galicia. The route is expected to loop back east toward Asturias.
The Diario de León reported that the Angliru is back on the docket, possibly as the penultimate stage. The famed summit would be featured for the ninth time, and the first since Hugh Carthy won there at 2020.
Vuelta will return to 22 teams
Guillén also confirmed that the 2023 edition will see a return to 22 teams. This year, the UCI gave the Vuelta an exemption to start with 23 teams, which allowed the organization to guarantee a spot for all the Spanish national teams as well as the top WorldTour and ProTeam squads.
“This year we had 23 teams and I can assure everyone that next year there will be 22,” Guillén told AS. “It was an exception offered by the UCI, and we were thankful, because it was necessary. From now on, the invitations will be more difficult because there are a lot of teams. It’s true that we want to have the Spanish teams, but that’s not a guarantee. The Vuelta can open the selection to other nations.”
Following tradition, the Vuelta will conclude in Madrid on September 17, a bit later than the past few years.
There are rumors that the race could pass through or finish inside one of Spain’s big football stadiums, but it’s likely the race will conclude with laps in downtown Madrid.
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