Cycling fever in the Netherlands: ambitions and returns of the Vuelta

Wielrenners in een bocht met veel publiek
Photo: Michiel Maas

In August 2022, the first stages of the cycling tour of Spain, La Vuelta, were held in Utrecht and North Brabant. For four days, cycling fever reigned, especially in the cities and provinces responsible for the organisation. What were the ambitions and what did 'La Vuelta Holanda' achieve? Commissioned by the organisation, Utrecht University conducted an evaluation study on the economic and social returns. The researchers also analysed the way the various public and private partners cooperated. 'There was a very tight budget and they kept to the agreements,' says project leader Maarten van Bottenburg.

According to Maarten van Bottenburg, the organisation has kept to the (budget) agreements extremely well: Critics could say that opportunities were missed as a result of this. But the organisation has to operate in an environment that values both a balanced budget and realising social value. Pressure from the municipal and provincial councils countered the tendency to go all out - which has often led to deficits at major sporting events in the past. Visitors to La Vuelta Holanda and residents of the organising cities greatly appreciate such an event, but not at all costs.

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Would you like to read more? Please go to the interview (in Dutch) with researchers Maarten van Bottenburg and Chris Noij:

You can also download the evaluation reports:

Download the research report (in Dutch) ‘Koersen tussen ambitie en budget’ (pdf, 2 MB)
Download the research report (in Dutch) ‘Het gaat om de weg ernaartoe.' (pdf, 4,5 MB)
Wielrenners passeren publiek in een dorpsstraat
Photo: Joris Knapen