The first individual time trial in this year's Vuelta will start and finish in Ciudad Real. The 42.5-kilometre course is mostly flat and the biggest obstacle will be the winds in La Mancha. Winds that already drove Don Quixote crazy. But the power riders won't mind a bit of a breeze. Anything to blow the little climbers off the road before heading into the mountains.
Ciudad Real – or Royal City in English – was a walled city that featured 130 towers to protect the mix of population, made up of Christians, Moors and Jews. Today, only fractures of the wall, once four kilometres long, remain. A Don Quixote museum will keep the tourists entertained, but many opt to quickly hop on the AVE train that stops here and go either to Madrid or down to the Andalucian coast.