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Stage 288 – Lumeah to Cranbrook

The hills just keep on coming.

Stage 288 may only pack half the punch of its predecessor, but there still enough virtual tarmac that isn’t flat to make this a testing time in the saddle. However the good news, if it can be viewed that way, is that the rollout is sharply uphill and ascends to the highest elevation of the stage after just a mile and a half. By the time you crest the summit at Rainscourt, fifteen per cent of the climbing for the stage will have been done.

That’s followed by a lumpy seven mile descent that loses all of the elevation gained, and more, en route to Lyndon and the inevitable water crossing: five of them in fact, one straight after the other. The road then rises sharply for a mile before dropping back down even further to cross Slab Hot Gully at Gracefield after eleven miles. As the river meanders alongside the road, so the elevation bobbles up and down along the straight to Tunney at fourteen miles.

That leads into a right hander that passes through Paul Valley at fifteen miles and past the junction to Benella where the Albany Highway bends back left again. Now you’re into what is effectively an eight mile home straight but not much of it is flat. It climbs from seventeen miles to The Homestead at twenty miles, before a lumpy descent takes you back down the other side. The flattest part of the whole stage is probably between miles twenty three and twenty four, before another nasty little climb is waiting for you on the run in to the line.

Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres

Ascent: 666 feet / 203 metres

RGT Magic Road: VXmHdyqQawxR

Total distance: 25.03 mi
Max elevation: 1298 ft
Min elevation: 918 ft
Total climbing: 666 ft
Total descent: -876 ft

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