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Stage 10 – Maleizen to Lubbeek

Stage ten kickstarts some tougher days in the saddle: if you thought Belgium was flat, just like its neighbour, then stages ten, eleven and twelve should help to dispel that theory. This one snakes its way north east to Leuven where the route hangs a right and starts the long run east that will eventually take the journey into the Netherlands and Germany in the coming stages.

The rollout is flat but by the time the N253 has passed through Maleizen and crossed over the main E411 autoroute after just a mile, it’s sitting at the top of a steep descent down into Overijse where it meets the Ijse river and several small bunches of water on the left hand side of the road. The descent flattens out a tad towards Huldenberg at five miles, then the road becomes every more meandering and undulating as it snakes its way north east through Loonbeek at seven miles and Neerijse a mile later.

That’s followed by a lumpy up and down section which passes by the Langerodevijver reservoir at nine miles, with the meandering Dijle river on the far (right hand) side of it, then the road begins a very undulating section past Koorbeek Dijle at ten miles and the main E40 autoroute a mile later. The lumpiness then continues through Egenhoven and Terbank to the western suburbs of Leuvren where the route hangs a left around the northern perimeter road that encircles the city.

The ring road takes a mile and a half to reach the northern side of the city, and when it gets there, the R23 descends to cross the Kanaal Leuvren-Dijle at the lowest elevation of the stage after fifteen miles. With the water out of the way, the road bends left at Blauwput and starts climbing as it passes by Kessel-lo Lovensveld and Diestseveld before rising ever more steeply to the summit at Dunberg after nineteen miles. Over the top, the descent is every bit as steep as the climb and that makes the run in to the finish between Sint Bernard and Sint Joris Winge a very enticing speedfest.

Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres

Ascent: 653 feet / 199 metres

RGT Magic Road: LyXk3sS3SYoW

Total distance: 20.49 mi
Max elevation: 592 ft
Min elevation: 312 ft
Total climbing: 647 ft
Total descent: -832 ft

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