Sign up for our newsletter


Vuelta a Espana 2019 preview: Opening team time trial chance to flex muscles

A fast and furious team time trial around the coastal streets of Torrevieja

Joe Robinson
23 Aug 2019

Vuelta a Espana 2019: Race likely to start with team time-trial

Vuelta a Espana race director Javier Guillen was careful not to reveal too much about the 2019 race before the official route annoucement on Wednesday 19th December in Alicante, but in conversation with Cyclist he did reveal his preferred option for the opening stage.

'Well, so far there is going to be a time-trial,' he said. 'We need to finalise, to decide if it’s a team time-trial or an individual time-trial, but so far I'm more in favour of a team time-trial.'

He added that the race organisation now sees team time-trials as a 'tradition in La Vuelta, just in the last 10 years', and that 'next year we’d like to recover our essence, so I think a team time-trial will be the type of stage we will choose'.

By the time the race route is officially revealed, this could change, but it's likely that the race will run as its director intends.

What is certain is that the Gran Salida (depart) will take place on the Costa Blanca, centring around the city of Alicante, an area Guillen is pleased to take the race to time and again.

'Alicante is one of the better places we have here in Spain to practise cycling because there is a perfect combination between sea and mountains,' he enthused.

'We've been to Alicante many, many times. Actually it’s the second most mountainous province in Spain and for this year we have decided three stages there. One will start next to the sea, and then we’d like to approach the inner of the province. We'd also like to explore a combination of sea and mountain together.'

There's over a month to go before the route's official announcement and the race itself is still the best part of 10 months away, but Guillen and his team work up to 18 months in advance when deciding where the race will go.

'Next year is absolutely done,' he said. 'We are working on 2020, on the first or second stage, and we are very clear what we want to do. If you ask me about what we are doing in 2021, I couldn’t tell you the right route but I could tell you some items that we would like to do.

'We work a year and a half in advance of every Vuelta edition. Otherwise it is impossible to plan 21 stages around all the country with many, many complexities.'