Skip to content

Stage 256 – Airag to The Middle of Nowhere

It had to happen – eventually – and perhaps the biggest surprise is that it took so long. Here we have a stage that starts in the middle of nowhere, although I selected the town that the route last passed through for documentation purposes, and finishes in quite literally the middle of nowhere. And the next stage does likewise at both ends, such is the remoteness of this part of Mongolia. As a consequence there’s little to say about the geography of the route, except that the railway line runs alongside the road on its right hand side for the entire twenty four miles.

But the fun part of this route, the fact that it has no virtual flat road in its entirety, is balanced by how boringly straight it is. So with no towns to report on, and a virtually straight road, let’s focus on those hills.

Personally, I find the constantly undulating stages very draining, probably because I work hard going uphill then don’t take enough of a breather when the road goes down. So let’s put this stage into perspective: it’s a downhill start for two miles before it climbs for a mile. Then it’s lumpy down/up/down until six miles where it climbs much more sharply. Then there’s a good run down to ten miles before it climbs again to thirteen miles. After that it’s a lumpy down/up/down/up/down to sixteen miles before the route climbs up/down/up/down/up to twenty miles.

Then just as you’re thinking “this is finally flat” the road goes up/down/flat down/up/down to the finish. There may be only four hundred feet of climbing on the stage but if you are prepared to give it some welly, you’re going to come away absolutely knackered at the finish.

Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres

Ascent: 404 feet / 123 metres

RGT Magic Road: 9kfzfvukpytZ

Total distance: 24 mi
Max elevation: 3324 ft
Min elevation: 3206 ft
Total climbing: 402 ft
Total descent: -405 ft

Help kids fighting neuroblastoma. Visit: