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Yorkshire aims to host start of Vuelta

Sir Gary Verity confirms talks have been held with owners Unipublic

Yorkshire could host the start of the Vuelta, with Sir Gary Vereity – the man who brought the Grand Depart of the Tour de France to the region in 2014 – confirming that discussions have been held with the owners of the Spanish race.

Unipublic, who own the Spanish race, are part of the ASO group, which also owns the Tour de France and which co-organises the Tour de Yorkshire, the fourth edition of which concluded yesterday.

BBC sport reports Verity as saying: "They want to do it, we want to do it".

Around 2.6 million people are estimated to have flocked to the region’s roads to watch this year’s edition of the Tour de Yorkshire and the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire, which have both had an extra day added this year to comprise four and two stages, respectively.

Verity said that Vuelta race director Javier Guillen had been in Yorkshire for the team presentation on Wednesday and left on Friday.

He added: "We can offer stunning backdrops and fantastic crowds, he's been able to see that for himself in the flesh."

Although foreign starts are less common at the Vuelta than they are with the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, last year’s race began in the French city of Nimes.

Last year saw the first British winner of the Vuelta when Team Sky's Chris Froome triumphed in Madrid.

It was revealed in December that he had returned an adverse analytical finding for the anti-asthma drug, salbutamol. The case is yet to be resolved.

Froome, currently racing at the Giro d'Italia as he seeks a third consecutive Grand Tour title, has vowed to clear his name.

Yorkshire’s burgeoning reputation for providing top-level racing – something enhanced by last week’s races – has seen it awarded the 2019 UCI Road Cycling World Championships, with Harrogate the main host venue.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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