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Stage 120 – Zabolotovo to Verkhnyaya

You really don’t want to mess with stage 120: eleven climbs, ten descents and only half a mile of what might be termed flat road. The first thirteen miles are particularly hard on your legs and you’ll be thankful for the five mile descent that follows thereafter, only for the road to go skywards again straight after.

The stage features rivers a plenty: the Yurkovka at three and a half miles, and again at five miles: the elevation profile suggests it flows against the direction of cycling. Then there’s the Ocher at eighteen miles and the Bol’shaya Ozernaya just after twenty miles.

The rollout from Zabolotovo is downhill but short lived. By the time you take the second left hander at Verkhnyaya Sosnova at three miles, you’ve already completed two of the climbs. The next point of any interest is the junction to Menovshciki at eight miles, and by then you’ve done three more climbs. The towns of Mokrushino, Semenovo, Beloborodovo and Nizovskaya all fall between miles twelve and fifteen on the eastern side of the highway, and by then you’re almost halfway down the long descent to Pesterevo at seventeen miles. There are junctions north and south at that point: north to Ocher and south to Malakhovo by the Prud Pavlovskiy reservoir.

Pesterevo is the lowest elevation of the day, and the steep climb up through the forest merely confirms that the Bol’shaya Ozernaya river flows down into the reservoir. The finish of the stage is visciously steep and is certain to test your resolve after all that has gone before. Only the fittest will be feeling strong by the end of this one.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 1352 feet / 412 metres

RGT Magic Road: LEezyUPnRon3

Total distance: 22 mi
Max elevation: 835 ft
Min elevation: 310 ft
Total climbing: 1351 ft
Total descent: -1370 ft

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