La Vuelta a España in Holland!

So, La Vuelta a España started on Saturday in the Dutch town of Assen, joining in with the other Grand Tour by starting outside its borders. The Spanish Tour has done this once before, but it was still on the Iberian Peninsula; Lisbon in Portugal.

Anyway, here are my (rhetorical) questions: Why did it start in Assen? And why have an opening TT on the motor racing circuit?

After the motos (MotoGP bikes).
After the motos (MotoGP bikes).

OK, I understand that money had a lot to do with it as I’m sure Assen paid well for the privilege of having the world press converge on this northern Dutch town, giving it the opportunity express its existence.

But in this time of crisis would the good Burgers of Assen maybe have been better to give hand-out to the poor, unemployed and other wise disenfranchised people, or does Assen not have any?

Yes, La Vuelta will bring in money to the hotels, shops and other services and it will put Assen on the map for a couple of days, the money could have gone more directly to where it could be used differently.

This brings me to my second question; why the Moto GP circuit? If Assen wanted to improve its tourism trade would it not have been a good idea to have the TT round it’s (probably, I don’t know) quaint, flower lined streets?

Think about it; The Tour de France decides to start in Edinburgh, the prologue could be along Princes Street and up The Mound, or from the Parliament up the Royal Mile to finish at the Castle, or Arthur’s Seat, the list is enormous. But Edinburgh council decides to have it out at Ingliston!

That is basically what it was like in Assen, I guess it was easy as there would be no road closures, policing and parking would be simple and they may have charges the 50,000 spectators entrance, but it’s not the same as a town centre course.

Now we have three flat stages in Holland, Germany and Belgium, at least Viktor will be happy till next week!

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Al began racing on the Scottish roads as "wee nipper" of 17 years. This led him to England where he continued racing and began working in a bike shop. A friendly connection through Paul Sherwin landed Alastair a mechanic's job for Raleigh-Banana team, which raced in Holland, Spain, France, Belgium & Britain, and subsequent postings with several teams including BCF, PCA and the F.S.Maestro team; and races including the World Champs, Kellogs Tour, Milk Race, Cuircuit de la Sarthe, Nissan Classic, G.P. Formies, Isgebergs, Wincanton Classic, lots of Belgian semi-classics and kermesses, and many other races he "can't remember"!