Yorkshire cycling chiefs are days away from finalising a date to bring the start of the Vuelta Espana to the region.
Already the host of the 2019 UCI Road World Championship next September and the annual Tour de Yorkshire each May, the county that staged the Grand Depart of the Tour de France back in 2014 now wants to bring another grand tour here at the start of the next decade.
Preliminary talks between Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity and Vuelta race director Javier Guillén began at this May’s Tour de Yorkshire and are set to continue next week.
Potential dates to host the start of the three-week Tour of Spain are August 2021 or August 2022, with Yorkshire hoping to secure three days of racing as opposed to the two the county staged during the Tour de France’s groundbreaking visit four years ago.
Mr Verity said: “I spoke to Javier last night, and I’m due out there in a few days time.
“We’re just debating with Javier which year the Vuelta will start in Yorkshire. What year works for him and what year works best for us and how can we come to an accommodation on that. But the first three days will be in Yorkshire.”
Mr Verity was speaking at the route announcement for the fifth annual Tour de Yorkshire next May. Stage one begins in Doncaster on Thursday, May 2, and runs 178.5km to a finish outside Selby Abbey, which in 2019 celebrates its 950th anniversary.
Day two on the Friday sees the women’s two-day race begin with a 132km route into Bedale, with the men set to mirror that journey later in the afternoon. That stage includes the circuit into Harrogate which will be used at the UCI Road World Championships in Harrogate later that year. Saturday and Sunday sees familiar rides from Bridlington to Scarborough and from the Piece Hall in Halifax to the race’s conclusion on the Headrow in Leeds.
Route analysis: See Sport
We’re just debating with Javier which year the Vuelta will start in Yorkshire. What year works for him and what year works best for us.Sir Gary Verity