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Stage 128 – Bykovo to Il’yata

You might be thinking that you’ve suffered enough of late because the amount of climbing has been significantly ahead of the average to date. Well welcome to another dose of pain. This is actually a respite stage when you set it alongside the previous three and the next three, but that’ll be no consolation.

The rollout from Bykovo is just after the crossing of the Atish river that occurred at the very end of stage 127 so there’s a problem straight away: the first two miles climb two hundred feet. A tiny bit of respite then takes you past the junction to Bakryazh at three miles before the climb resumes. You’ll be in the forest, in the middle of nowhere, before you reach the summit, which also happens to be the highest elevation of the day at 1150ft (350m) above sea level.

After that you get to enjoy a cracking five mile descent down to Achitskiy Rayon at thirteen miles: in fact you lose all of the elevation you just worked so hard to attain. Naturally there’s a river down there and it’s the Atish again for the second crossing of the stage, close to where it flows into Lake Achit. That kicks off another climb up to the junction to Zernobaza at sixteen miles.

Another river crossing follows – the Bisert – and that’s followed immediately by the third crossing of the Atish, and the elevation profile suggests that it flows against the line of travel on the bike. That’s it for the big climbing although the last couple of miles are gently uphill so it’s best to save something for the run to the line: you might just need it.

Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres

Ascent: 774 feet / 236 metres

RGT Magic Road: xsK8mRsxqZ9G

Total distance: 23.96 mi
Max elevation: 1144 ft
Min elevation: 820 ft
Total climbing: 774 ft
Total descent: -753 ft

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