The route for next year’s Vuelta de Espana was officially presented on Thursday with the race set to start in the Dutch city of Utrecht on August 19.
It will be only the fourth time the Vuelta has kicked off outside Spain in 77 editions.
The 21-stage race will include 9 high-altitude finishes, 5 of which have never been used before, 7 mountain stages, 6 flat stages and two time trials.
Primoz Roglic has won the last three editions.
Utrecht, which has also hosted the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, was supposed to be the start of the 2020 Vuelta but the COVID-19 pandemic meant the route was changed and shortened. The city will host the opening time trial.
“We finally return to Utrecht, Breda and Hertogenbosch, without losing even an ounce of our enthusiasm,” Javier Guillen, General Director of La Vuelta, said in a statement.
“In a special year, when all of the Grand Tours are having official departures abroad, we look forward to what will be an unforgettable official start in an authentic cycling paradise like the Netherlands.”
Next year’s Tour de France starts in Copenhagen while the Giro d’Italia gets going in Budapest.
The 2022 Vuelta will for the first time visit all eight provinces of Andalusia, with the peloton crossing east to west from Almeria to Huelva.
“Few places are more representative of La Vuelta or of our country than Andalusia,” Guillen said.
“We’re also celebrating a historical anniversary: La Vuelta will depart from Sanlucar de Barrameda 500 years to the day from the moment Sebastian Elcano returned to Spain after completing the first circumnavigation of the globe.”