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Stage 313 – The Middle of Nowhere to Balladonia

At first glance this looks like the straightest stage of them all: it looks like twenty three dead straight miles. Even when you start zooming in, it looks straight. I tagged the route as being from the middle of nowhere to Balladonia, but perhaps it would have been more authentic to have termed it middle of nowhere to the middle of nowhere because Balladonia, which pops up out of nowhere at nine miles, is the only bit of civilisation on the route, and because Mark Beaumont took a detour into ‘town’ there, his route remains on the course, so that means a wee loop left then right back onto the long straight highway.

One thing that this route isn’t, however, is flat. While it’s not viciously up or down at any point, it’s definitely not flat. It’s lumpy. There’s barely a hundred metres of flat virtual tarmac on the entire route, so prepare for continuous, annoying changes of effort.

The rollout in the middle of the forested Ngadju Indigenous Protected Area is downhill, initially for two miles, then lumpily less so for a further seven miles. That takes you to Balladonia and the loop around what is effectively a service area.

Leaving the services, the road rises almost a hundred feet over the next mile and a half before beginning a lumpy descent down to fifteen miles. After that it’s lumpy/flat to twenty miles at which point the road rises gently again all the way to the finish.

The highway leaves the densely wooded protected area immediately after leaving the services at nine miles: thereafter, the area either side of the road is still populated by trees and bushes all the way to twenty one miles, at which point the bush disappears and you’re just left with tarmac and red dirt.

Distance: 23 miles / 37 kilometres

Ascent: 420 feet / 128 metres

RGT Magic Road: 337yyWkzekFk

Total distance: 22.97 mi
Max elevation: 491 ft
Min elevation: 317 ft
Total climbing: 418 ft
Total descent: -560 ft

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