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Stage 272 – Hongfeng Village to Ulanqab

And so it begins: the long descent down to Beijing, which is still nine stages away. But starting at almost five thousand feet above sea level, the descent had to start soon, and stage 272 loses seven hundred feet of elevation over its twenty four mile run south to Ulanqab.

The rollout is south easterly and lumpy flat for five miles, passing by Benhong town after just a couple of miles, before a long right hander swings the road round to the south west. although the cycle route, the Erguang highway, the Donghe road and the railway line have been in close proximity for a number of stages, never have they been so close together as they are between Daludhao railway station and the intersection to Sanchengiu town and Gongou town at twelve miles.

The descent starts in earnest around eight miles into the stage and continues pretty much all the way to the end, leaving aside small but short climbs at sixteen and nineteen miles. On approach to Malianqu town on the northern edge of Ulanqab, the route hangs a sharp left, taking an eastern course that effectively bypasses the centre of the city. Ulanqab itself was only created as prefecture level city as recently as 2003 and boasts a population of 1.7 million people. The western part of the city used to reside in the now defunct Chinese province of Suiyuan.

Having taken the left hander at eighteen miles, the road heads due south for the remainder of the stage, descending gently on approach to the finish at Xiaobai Haizi town, running alongside the Jichang expressway for the last six miles.

Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres

Ascent: 312 feet / 95 metres

RGT Magic Road: 9eElF7lupz13

Total distance: 24.03 mi
Max elevation: 4851 ft
Min elevation: 4149 ft
Total climbing: 310 ft
Total descent: -978 ft

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