The race organisers have revealed the first three stages will take place in northern Europe

The 2020 edition of the Vuelta a España will kick off with three stages in the Netherlands, the organisers have revealed.

Utrecht in the central region will host the official start of the race, a team time trial, followed by two road stages.

This will only be the fourth time the Vuelta has started outside of Spain, and the second Netherlands start after Assen in 2009.

The race also started in Lisbon, Portugal in 1987 and Nîmes, France last year.

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Utrecht will host the opening day of racing, with a team presentation and team time trial.

Stage two will start in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and end in Utrecht during the final Grand Tour of the year.

The third day of racing which will cover the province of Noord-Braband, starting and finishing in Breda.

Vuelta director Javier Guillén told the mayor of Utrecht Jan Van Zanen of the decision to take the race to the Netherlands on Monday.

The pair announced the news on Wednesday.

A statement from the race organisers said: “The Vuelta Director, Javier Guillén, is looking forward to the ‘Salida Oficial’ in the Netherlands.

“There is a great passion for cycling in both Utrecht and Noord-Brabant. Both provinces have experience in hosting (major) cycling events.

“In addition, the cultural-historical ties between Spain and the Netherlands and the topic of sustainability are to serve as the central theme.

“This was one of the major criteria influencing the management’s decision to award the start of La Vuelta 2020 to Utrecht and North Brabant.”

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Details of the 2019 Vuelta route have also slowly been emerging ahead of the official launch.

Next year’s race will feature two time trials and up to nine summit finishes, the race director has told Cycling Weekly.  

Vuelta director Javier Guillén outlined some details and others are surfacing via local media in Spain.

The 2019 Vuelta would start on the Costa Blanca shore’s in Alicante.

The province will host three stages, with the first – a time trial – starting in Torrevieja.

The full 2019 Vuelta route is due to be revealed on December 19.