And so to Omsk, the second largest city in Siberia, with a population of over a million people, and the ninth largest city in all of Russia. Stage 156 enters the city from the north west, which is roundabout kind of a way of saying that you’re (still) heading south east. Kazakhstan’s still just over fifty miles away, as it’s been for the last ten or so stages, and it’s not really going to get much closer because when the border kicks on east, so does your route.
There’s a tiny bit of forest today, all of it in the first five miles, but the rest follows the path of the Irtysh river in open country. There’s a major intersection at five miles where the ring road heads off round the western side of the town. But our route keeps going straight on so the junction appears on RGT as nothing more than right/left/right loop around the main highway. It’s also the route that Mark Beaumont appears to have taken back in 2017, leaving the highway, then going back on again after the junction.
After the junction, the road takes a gentle left hander, crosses the Kamyshlovka river and heads onward to a left hand bend that hosts Druzhinskoye on its left hand side around the corner. That’s at the nine mile mark, and apart from the crossing of the river, there’s really not much to report on the elevation front to that point: it’s all pretty flat.
There’s then a bit of a climb, although it’s nothing more than a gentle rise really, to Karat at the yellow kite. The road then drops down again, to the junction where the road into the city centre – which you aren’t taking – goes straight on. The route on RGT will show a right hand bend onto the M51 heading due south around is effectively the inner ring road.
The road climbs up to Privetnaya at sixteen miles before a down/up/down undulation takes you to Magistral’noye just before eighteen miles: that’s also the highest point on the stage at three hundred and eighty feet.
The next five miles are meandering, left and right, past Verkhniy Karbush at twenty one miles before the long descent bottoms out at an intersection at Troitskoye. The route hangs a left at the intersection and the road climbs steeply for a third of a mile before dropping equally steeply down to the finish line approaching the bridge that crosses the Irtysh river.
At only two hundred and fifty feet of climbing (ish), the stage is a bit a skoosh, and the bends will certainly make it seem interesting at what is likely to be a rattling good pace.
Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres
Ascent: 246 feet / 75 metres
RGT Magic Road: 59qf9B8vpXXi
Max elevation: 378 ft
Min elevation: 308 ft
Total climbing: 239 ft
Total descent: -261 ft
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