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Stage 291 – Drome to Kalgan

291 is a good news/bad news story. The good news is that because it’s heading to Albany on the coast of South Australia, the first half is downhill. The bad news is that because it then heads back inland again as soon at it gets there, the second half is uphill, which includes a particularly nasty little climb just after halfway. The stage profile is defined by the route that Mark Beaumont took back in 2017 when he set his epic world record. He headed south from Perth rather than taking a route directly inland, the two routes coming together again at Norseman (a long way from where you are just now).

The rollout is lumpy and downhill for eleven miles, passing by Clover Downs, Deerodrome, Mckail and Milpara on the way into Albany. The Albany highway arrives in town at a roundabout which connects to the South Coast Highway and a few minor roads. The junction shows up on RGT as a sharp left hand turn at eight miles, but it’s not the bottom of the descent. That doesn’t come until the road crosses the King River near to the Happy Days Caravan Park at twelve miles.

The climb away from the river is short but brutal: two hundred feet of ascent in a mile and a half up the Bakers Junction Nature Reserve. By now the route is following the South Coast Highway and after leaving the nature reserve, the road follows another lumpy descent down to the Kalgan River at Kalgan itself at seventeen miles.

From Kalgan the road climbs virtually all the way to the finish, a climb of some seven miles, passing by the townships of Keringal, Hassell Road and Alaska as it does so. As it passes Alaska at twenty three miles, the highway swings right then left before launching you into the final straight which comes just after the junction to Karralea.

Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres

Ascent: 725 feet / 221 metres

RGT Magic Road: Z1uIHayveBeH

Total distance: 24.55 mi
Max elevation: 431 ft
Min elevation: 214 ft
Total climbing: 725 ft
Total descent: -760 ft

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