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Fans of pintxos and vino tinto rejoice.
Officials confirmed Wednesday the 2023 Tour de France will start in Spain’s Basque Country.
“This is cycling country, with great riders, both past and present,” said Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme. “This will be a new opportunity to meet some of the best bikes fans in the world.”
Three stages will trace across the hilly Basque Country to open to the 110th edition of the Tour, marking the second grand départ in the Basque Country in Tour history. San Sebastián hosted the start of the 1992 Tour at the dawn of the Miguel Indurain era.
Officials revealed that all three Basque provinces will feature in the opening three days, with Bilbao hosting a road stage that should present a yellow jersey to an all-rounder. With a lumpy profile, it’s simply too hilly in Spain’s Basque Country to deliver a predictable bunch sprint.
The second stage will run from Vitoria to the posh port city of San Sebastián, and will trace much of the route of the summer classic the Clásica San Sebastián, including the famed Jaizkibel climb.
Stage three will start in Amorebieta, and though the finish details are not yet confirmed, the stage will finish across the border in France.
The 2022 Tour is slated to begin in Copenhagen on July 1.
Opening stages in the 2023 Tour de France
July 1: Bilbao-Bilbao, 185 km
July 2: Vitoria-Gasteiz to San Sebastián, 210 km
July 3: Amorebieta-Etxano to … TBD