We will enjoy both the stage start and visiting the imposing walls that surround the old city. There are 88 blocks of circular towers connecting the 2.5km wall to explore. The walls of Ávila is the largest fully illuminated monument in the world.
Ávila stage start
We can enjoy a leisurely departure from our hotel this morning as it is only a short transfer to the stage start in Ávila. We will enjoy both the stage start and visiting the imposing walls that surround the old city. There are 88 blocks of circular towers connecting the 2.5km wall to explore. You can walk on top of about half of the perimeter and the enclosed city occupies almost 31 hectares within the wall. The walls of Ávila is the largest fully illuminated monument in the world.
After catching another stage start, we will follow riders out and head toward our next hotel. For those on our challenging ride, we’ll finish at our hotel. For those taking the shorter ride, we will transfer you to the hotel skipping the final climb to the hotel, thereby making half the distance.
For the next two nights, we will stay on the race route of tomorrow’s stage. Our accommodation was the first Parador to open in Spain. As a means to promote tourism in Spain, Alfonso XIII established hotels, known as Paradors across Spain mostly by converting an existing monastery or castle. Parador Gredos opened in 1928 as a royal hunting lodge and inn.
The interior with rustic decoration makes it a cozy but also stately place at the same time. From its elevated position in the Alto del Risquillo, the majestic building gives beautiful panoramic views of the Valley of Tormes, the Sierra de Piedrahita and Béjar, and the massif of Gredos.
Tonight we will enjoy a delicious dinner together in our residence fit for royalty.
TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 19 – Ávila to Toledo
Teams may view this as a penultimate stage before the General Classification is wrapped up. The flat stage skirts the western areas of Madrid before finishing in Toledo. Both the stage start and stage finish are within walled cities and they both recognise the cultural influences that the Christians, Muslims and Jews had on their cities.