This is a horrible stage. Let’s not try and dress it up like a sheep in wolf’s clothing. This stage is the wolf. It’s uphill all the way from three miles right through to the finish, except for a short but all too brief bit of respite at twenty miles. And to add insult to injury, the highest elevation of the stage, just over five thousand feet, is just before the finish.
The rollout is on the on the main highway into Ulaanbaatar from the west and the road trundles along flat for a mile until it reaches the Ministry of Foreign affairs where the route hangs a right and heads south/south east. It stays that way, skipping through a right/left chicane at two miles, until the Ikh Tenger club house at four miles, and that’s where the slog begins. When the road reaches the night club, it hangs a left to join the arterial road that runs along the southern edge of the city, and in doing so resumes an easterly direction.
But as the road leaves the city, it starts to snake left and right – always a bad sign – as it starts to climb. It passes by the Sky resort at eight miles before hanging a right hander at eleven miles as the gradient starts to bite. Miles eleven to twenty are straight and uphill, a deadly combination, with railway lines on both sides. Once the road reaches Nalaikh at twenty miles, the road hangs a right and the railway loops around the town to head back north again. It’s also where you get that mile of respite, so enjoy it because it’s short lived.
From twenty one miles, with the route now heading plumb south, the road climbs another two hundred feet before cresting the summit just before the finish. It’s a difficult end to a pig of a stage.
Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres
Ascent: 1237 feet / 377 metres
RGT Magic Road: 5OSWJVwI2cqH
Max elevation: 5093 ft
Min elevation: 4191 ft
Total climbing: 1234 ft
Total descent: -332 ft
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