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Stage 119 – Nizhnyaya Pykhta to Zabolotovo

You’re lucky in one respect, but not in another. This is the respite stage between three big ones. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there’s barely a flat bit of virtual tarmac on it. Although it doesn’t pack the punch of say, stage 115, this one is very, very testing in its own inimitable way.

The rollout from Nizhnyaya Pykhta is fast and furious, and gets furiouser (I just made that word up, by the way) by the yard or the metre. Inevitably, that means water, and the crossing of the Chepsta (again!) at two miles provides the justification for the fast start. But the fun is short lived because the road climbs steeply to Bol’shaya Chepsta at four miles.

Then there’s a lumpy down and up, which involves the Chepsta again (is that the fourth time you’ve crossed it?) before the M7 (which is still the Volga Highway) crosses from the Republic of Udmurt into Perm Kral at seven miles. You’re moving in and out of the forest at this point, and just before going back into the forest at nine miles, halfway up a two mile slog of a climb, you pass by Malyye Kizeli. By the time you reach Klenovskoye after a lumpy up and down at thirteen miles, there’s only one more section of forest to go but you’re still nowhere near the end of the climbing.

The next ascent kicks off in earnest at sixteen miles in the middle if the final clump of forest, and rises sharply for a mile. That’ll test your legs. That’s followed by a nice descent down to Shamary: two miles in which you can either freewheel or put the hammer down and try and clock 40mph. But what that descent really does is set up up for the grand finale, which of course is uphill, all two miles of it, except for perhaps the final 100m.

Not an easy stage for a ‘rest’ day, but then you might be looking back at it rather fondly when you see what the next two stages have in store.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 840 feet / 256 metres


Total distance: 22.01 mi
Max elevation: 796 ft
Min elevation: 523 ft
Total climbing: 835 ft
Total descent: -827 ft

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