There’s no hiding place for the next ten or so stages: they average almost a thousand feet of climbing (300m) a time, and this is the first of them. Two big climbs and a load of lumpy little ones are the order of the day: there’s virtually no flat on this stage at all.
The rollout is merely gently uphill, which is a good way to get your legs warmed up for what’s to come. A mile takes you up out of the forest before you drop back down to cross the Vala river just after the junction to Bol’shiye Siby. The second climb takes you up another seventy five feet before you drop back down to cross the Vala again at four miles on the approach to Mozhginskoye.
The second crossing of the Vala kicks off the first big climb, almost three hundred feet in two and a half miles. That climb peaks at Rassvet then there’s a lumpy eight mile descent to a third crossing of the Vala just after Cheremushki. Now you’re at fourteen miles and at the lowest elevation of the day: that means the Vala is flowing with us.
This is where the serious climbing kicks in. The road heads skywards for a mile then remains lumpy for two more. Now you’re approaching seventeen miles and some serious pain. The next three miles rise by three hundred and fifty feet, passing through Gornyakskoe at sixteen miles. The top of the climb is at Novyy Karambay at twenty miles, after which you’ll finally be on easy street: the last three and a bit miles descend by almost four hundred feet to the finish at Akarshur so the final approach is bound to be frantic: hold on tight!
Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres
Ascent: 1030 feet / 314 metres
RGT Magic Road: LWwsaksqo96O
Max elevation: 848 ft
Min elevation: 404 ft
Total climbing: 1030 ft
Total descent: -968 ft
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