Minutes before they embarked on a 198-kilometre voyage to the white-walled Andalusian town of Arcos de la Frontera, some of ‘La Vuelta’ cyclists posed with fighter planes and navy gear.
Then it was time to get the third stage of the 69th edition of Spain’s Tour underway.
Cyclists sped down the ramp of Spain’s biggest aircraft carrier, named after the country’s former King Juan Carlos, and pedalled along Cádiz’s port before hitting the road.
It’s not the first time ‘La Vuelta’ organizers have opted to stage part of the races in original locations.
Previous editions have seen cyclists start from everywhere from Formula One race courses to fishing boats, go over the finish line in Pamplona’s emblematic bull ring and even take on time trials at night through the streets of Seville.
As for Monday’s race, Australian rider Michael Matthews was victorious after an exhilarating sprint finish with Irishman Dan Martin and Spaniard Joaquín Rodríguez.
The 23-year-old ‘Aussie’ also took the overall race lead after crossing the line after 5h 12min and 14 sec.