When a stage has the Middle of Nowhere tagged at one end, in this case the start, and the Nullarbor Plain tagged at the other end, in this case the finish, you instinctively know that it’s going to be remote, sparse and demanding of attitude. Stage 332 is that that stage and it promotes all three attributes. When you’ve finished the stage – and it’s not particularly hilly, by the way – you’ll look back on it and realise what a leg burner it has been: there’s precious little flat road for a stage that boasts only two hundred and twenty feet of ascent, and much of it is gently uphill: but the gradient keeps on changing from slightly up to slightly down, on repeat, and that’s what makes the stage so tough at a rattling pace.
Without doubt, the geographic feature of the stage is Nullarbor itself: the western end of the Plain at fourteen miles, with the Nullarbor Roadhouse just a mile further down the Eyre Highway, heading east. The airport and the airport motel sit just half a mile north of the highway at the Roadhouse junction.
At fourteen miles, just as the Highway approaches the outskirts of Nullarbor, the new Eyre Highway meets up with, and runs alongside the old Eyre Highway. They runs side by side through the town and don’t deviate again until eighteen miles where the old road takes a more north easterly route and by the end of the stage the two roads are running a mile apart and diverging more all the time.
Although the rollout is downhill for a mile, the next fifteen miles are either lumpy flat or lumpy and gently uphill: there’s precious little respite from sheer hard work. However the payoff is that after Nullarbor, the final eight miles are gently downhill, albeit lumpily along a very straight stretch of road. The finish itself is just after a dirt road heads north east to join the old road, and before another dirt road heads off down to the coast.
Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres
Ascent: 217 feet / 66 metres
RGT Magic Road: Oh5vE6oq9luM
Max elevation: 231 ft
Min elevation: 171 ft
Total climbing: 218 ft
Total descent: -203 ft