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Vuelta Stage 17 Preview: Ciudad Real - Talavera de la Reina


Stage 17 :: Wednesday September 16, 2009
193.6km :: Ciudad Real - Talavera de la Reina

I'm stuck under a time crunch to do a cell phone invoice cost analysis. All things considered, dead flat transition stages across Spain are more fun than that. No time for screen shots or witty banter... let's just get straight to those who know about these things, shall we?

Hey Gavia... are you aware that the Bird is the Word?

It’s another day for the sprinters on this stage running between Cuidad Real and Talavera de la Reina. There is nary a climb in sight, and indeed, the profile has no categorized climbs on offer. The course heads directly north and finishes just west of Madrid. The riders can almost see the finale of this Vuelta, and there are only four stages left to race.

The Vuelta races through the center of Spain over flat plains. Cuidad Real sits 200 kilometers south of Madrid in the Campo de Calatrava, a flat expanse formed by ancient volcanic activity. Thermal springs dot the area. During the Middle Ages, four kilometers of walls surrounded the city, which has no natural defenses. Only a few sections of the walls remain. Cuidad Real, which served as a provincial capital of La Mancha beginning in the 17th century, is a sister city with College Station, Texas.

Talavera de la Reina lies almost directly north of Cuidad Real. The river Tajo divides the city, which the Celts founded. The first mention of the Talavera de la Reina comes from the Roman writer Livy, who described a battle between the Celtic tribe and the Romans for control of the city. The city shows its mixed history with remnants of Celtic, Roman, and Muslim, and early Christian buildings all surviving. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Talavera de la Reina became famous for its pottery and tile-work, which was exported to wealthy nobility throughout Europe. Though the city itself stands in the flatlands, the Sierra de Mejorada mountain range lies just to the north. And yes, it does rain in the plain in Spain. Talavera de la Reina has wet, rainy winters.

Courtesy of Gavia's Stage 17 Preview at

It's nap time in Frinking's Corner. Everyone grab a blankie, cookie and pint of milk.

The biggest ZZZZZZ we had yesterday. This stage is ZZZZZZ, + or - some of the Z's.

Agaian an adventure... to stay awake..