To mark just its fourth foreign excursion, the Vuelta a España will use a special version of the red leader's jersey during the three days it spends in The Netherlands this August.
For the first time, all three Grand Tours will start from a foreign country this year. We have already had the Giro d'Italia in Budapest, Hungary; the Tour de France begins in Copenhagen, Denmark in just over a fortnight's time; and then we will finally get to the third, the Vuelta, which starts in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
The special version of La Roja has been produced by Santini, and was designed by Mattijs van Bergen, a Dutch fashion designer whose clients include the Queen of the Netherlands.
Rather than the uniform red kit that Primož Roglič of Jumbo-Visma has claimed for the past three editions, the Dutch leader's jersey features a net-like motif across the chest, which is white at the top, blending down to blue at the bottom. It will be worn on day two from 's-Hertogenbosch to Utrecht, and then on day three in Breda.
The Santini press release said that Van Bergen "took his inspiration from the emblems of the three Dutch cities La Vuelta passes through". It continued: "All use red and white motifs, lines and blocks which are combined with the blue of the Dutch flag to create a grid on the jersey."
With stage one a team time trial around the flat terrain of Utrecht, it will likely be a true rouleur who pulls on the special red jersey on stage two. The Dutch city will in fact be the first city to host foreign stages of all three Grand Tours; it will be visited in 2022 after it was originally supposed to come to The Netherlands in 2020, but this was delayed by the pandemic.
Once the race returns to Spanish soil in the Basque Country, after an early rest day, the leader's jersey will revert to its usual red. Santini also released their 'normal' Vuelta jerseys on Tuesday.
Javier Guillén, the race's director, said: “The jerseys are the race’s sign of identity, particularly La Roja leader’s jersey. These, along with the special commemorative editions, make us truly proud to have Santini dressing our champions."
Santini are also producing special jerseys that take inspiration from four stages of this year's Vuelta: stage eight in Asturias; stage ten in Alicante; stage 15 to Sierra Nevada; and stage 21 to Madrid.
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