The time trial, starting at Port Olímpic, will be 14.6 kilometers long and will pass through emblematic points
The second stage, of 181.3 kilometres, will leave Mataró and will be demanding and with a hilly finish
BARCELONA, Dec. 20 (.) –
The city of Barcelona will bring the Olympic spirit, its main tourist attractions and also the harshness of Montjuïc to the first two stages of La Vuelta 23 –a Spanish round starting in the Catalan capital on August 26 and arriving in Madrid on September 17–, in an official start with a team time trial to whet your appetite and a second stage, the first in line, starting in Mataró and arriving at the Estadi Olímpic on the ‘magic mountain’.
The headquarters of the Fundació Barcelona Capital Náutica (Barcelona will host the 2024 sailing Copa América) was the place chosen to reveal the route of the first two stages of La Vuelta 23. The first (August 26) will be a time trial by teams of 14 .6 kilometers that will leave from Port Olímpic (in a place yet to be detailed) and will arrive at Avenida de la Reina Maria Cristina, at the foot of Montjuïc.
And, as for the second stage (August 27), it will leave Mataró (capital of El Maresme) and arrive in Barcelona, at the historic gate of the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys that saw the marathon arrive at the Barcelona 92 Olympic Games, after 181.3 kilometers of a tough route, with two mountain levels (Coll de Sant Bartomeu in 3rd place and Coll d’Estenalles in 2nd place) and a very tough finish worthy of a final attack among the strongest.
As explained by the organization, the team time trial will be “technical and fast at the same time” and will pass through emblematic places such as the Sagrada Família, Passeig de Gràcia, Torre Glòries or Avinguda Diagonal. The start will be at the Port Olímpic to give presence to that future Copa América, although the exact place will not be revealed until later, but it will be “very special” according to the Councilor for Sports of Barcelona, David Escudé.
The second stage of the next Spanish round will be “hard”. After leaving Mataró, it will go through the Vallès to go in the direction of Manresa, pass near the emblematic mountain of Montserrat and on the way back it will pass through the Baix Llobregat, on the way to Barcelona. Once in the city, you will go up to the top of Montjuïc and do a single lap, without using the circuit that stands out in the Volta a Catalunya. But it will be a heart attack finish that will be the judge of this second stage, of 181.3 kilometers.
The general director of La Vuelta, Javier Guillén, presided over the presentation of these first two stages of a Vuelta that, hand in hand with Barcelona, will be even more among the greats. “Barcelona is a necessity. To be great you have to associate with the greats and Barcelona is one of the largest cities in the world, and it brings together the four pillars: sport, sustainability, tradition and avant-garde. And looking at the initial time trial, it’s what what it suggests to me,” he said.
An initial time trial that will be for teams because, in addition to technical reasons, it is less and less common on the UCI WorldTour calendar. “We are in Barcelona for two stages, and they are two very different stages. The team time trial is very plastic and there are very few on the calendar. And the second stage, starting in Mataró, we add more people. We get closer to the spectator, we don’t the other way around,” Guillén said.
In this long and hard second stage, you could pass through the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, a track that hosts Formula 1 and MotoGP, among other major events. “I bet that it can be done, going through the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. We are in negotiations, but it cannot be confirmed yet,” he told Europa Press.
For his part, Fernando Escartín, former cyclist and technical director of La Vuelta, assured that it was “relatively difficult” to design the two stages in Barcelona -which hosts one start and two stage finishes-, but qualified that within everything it was ” easy” with the help of the City Council. “The purists would like a time trial that is more separated from the city and stronger, but we have to bring the competition closer to the people and in those 14.6 kilometers everything will be tight, which is better for the competition,” he assessed.
In the presentation were the former cyclists Melcior Mauri (“I applaud the recovery of a team time trial, I think it is very attractive for the race”), Roberto Heras (“I feel half from Barcelona and I am happy that the city welcomes the start. The The second stage will go through a mousetrap area and the arrival at Montjuïc is an arrival in which I bet a small group will arrive”) and Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodríguez (“It will be a very tough second stage, the race will surely break with the steep slope of face to finish that will be very selective. Mousetrap stage, sure”).
The first deputy mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni, assured that they are “very excited” to be the official start of La Vuelta 23. “I want to thank the work done by Sports of the City Council and by La Vuelta. We managed to put Barcelona back in the center of the great national and international competitions, with La Vuelta, the World Padel Tour and the Copa América”, he recalled.
“We played hard to get the start of La Vuelta and it turned out well. I was able to be at the end of La Vuelta 22 in Madrid and it is impressive to see how a city takes to the streets. And Barcelona makes a very important commitment to the bicycle as means of transport and it is coherent that the city has an exit from La Vuelta”, he pointed out. “It has its curiosity and its grace that La Vuelta 23 leaves Barcelona and arrives in Madrid, due to that sporting rivalry that exists,” she added.
For his part, the mayor of Mataró, David Bote, assured that being a stage start in La Vuelta is an “excellent opportunity” for the city. “We are very grateful. And from the good relationship with the Barcelona City Council comes the opportunity to have this stage, between two cities united in history by the first railway or with the marathon of the Barcelona 92 Olympic Games, starting in Mataró “, he recalled.