The second beastly stage in a row. If your legs are still in one piece after stage 195, they might not be after this one: everything about this stage is either fast or difficult. I counted seven challenging climbs of varying lengths and inclination while I was preparing this preview, and it’s fair to say that there’s not a single piece of flat virtual tarmac anywhere on the stage.
The rollout in the forest from Kuskun is steep and uphill: indeed the first mile of the stage is almost as steep as anything that comes later. Inevitably after a steep climb, the road falls away back down the other side. But you don’t lose all of the elevation gained because by two miles, you’re climbing again. And so it goes on…
Miles three to seven take you on a journey of descent, back down to the elevation that kickstarted the stage as you pass by Tertezh. The road kicks left and right as the climbs and descents continue to hit you, but it’s approaching the sharp right hander at ten miles that you get treated to the steepest climb of the stage, albeit that it’s shorter than the one at the start.
It’s then lumpy up and down as you approach Balay at sixteen miles, before the road enters the forest for the remaining eight miles. The twenty mile mark drops you down to the lowest elevation of the stage but that’s just the signal for another 150ft climb to twenty one miles. After that you’re left with a gentle descent before another up/down/up takes you to the finish on the edge of the wood. At thirteen hundred feet of climbing, this stage presents quite a challenge.
Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres
Ascent: 1352 feet / 412 metres
RGT Magic Road: FodwigzWUJkR
Max elevation: 1468 ft
Min elevation: 1131 ft
Total climbing: 1344 ft
Total descent: -1172 ft
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