The difficult stages are now coming thick and fast, and stage 243 is most definitely one of them. This stage ends at close to 4000ft, which tops the previous highest elevation of the journey, which ironically was on the previous stage.
The stage rolls out uphill for half a mile before dropping back down to its initial elevation. Then after passing through Bayangol after a mile, the A0401 highway passes by the junction to Zuunkharaa off to the east. The road remains flat to four miles, at which point is crosses the Kharaa Gol river, and that marks the start of a long, tortuous climb to the first summit of almost 3900ft at fifteen miles. There is a bit of respite at nine miles, but it’s short lived and the climb resumes quickly after. In all, the road climbs over a thousand feet between miles five and fifteen.
Shortly after the summit, the road drops back down on a long sweeping right hand bend, losing four hundred feet in just three miles. As the next climb starts, approaching the border between Selenge province and Tov province at twenty miles, the road swings right to head back west – the wrong direction – for a short period. However that all changes as you crest the summit at just under 4000ft, the highest elevation of both the stage and the journey to date.
The descent back down to twenty three miles then sets up a lumpy flat approach to the finish, which occurs with the route taking a gentle right hander on the run into the line.
Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres
Ascent: 1985 feet / 605 metres
RGT Magic Road: 0k1MEi2MvD7x
Max elevation: 3924 ft
Min elevation: 2783 ft
Total climbing: 1986 ft
Total descent: -1013 ft
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