This is the third of four very difficult stages in a row, and although it has the longest and steepest continuous downhill to date, it also has menu of climbing that will leaves your legs screaming for respite. In fact, in terms of variety, this stage pretty much has it all: climbs, descents, bends and even the odd straight.
The geography of the stage is that it heads south west from Glubokaya around the western edge of Lake Baikal and onto its southern shore. In terms of the elevation profile, the rollout is in the mountains so there’s plenty of lumpy up and down stuff that will bag you five hundred feet of climbing before you start the big, long descent at eight miles. The whole of that early section meanders left and right through the forest, undulating up and down, and crossing the railway no fewer than three times before the descent starts in earnest.
The road passes a couple of miles to the west of Andrianovskaya at seven miles which sits close to the dip between two summits: on the road, the second of those offers the highest elevation of the stage at just over 3300ft. Then there’s the big descent down to Kultuk. The road drops 1600ft between miles eight and fifteen, and includes some wonderful hairpin bends between thirteen and fourteen miles.
The road crosses the railway again on entry to and exit from the town and the second crossing marks the start of a lumpy seven mile flat section of the stage as the routes skips around the end of the lake. However once you get past Slyudyanka at twenty miles, the climbing starts all over again as you approach the undulations along the southern shoreline. There’s nothing mad to contend with, but as the road snakes left and right around the hills, you’ll be tested some more before the descent down to the finish.
Distance: 25 miles / 40 kilometres
Ascent: 1470 feet / 448 metres
RGT Magic Road: 8Go9ReQkiBv3
Max elevation: 3279 ft
Min elevation: 1630 ft
Total climbing: 1468 ft
Total descent: -2641 ft
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