Stage 334 brings with it some civilisation on a more regular basis, as in it finishes near a town. Yay! However with the Nullarbor Plain firmly in the rear view mirror, 334 is a real shock to the system with some really testing climbs that are guaranteed to burn your legs if you’re intent on pushing a pace. There’s nothing of great interest in the route, which spends all of its time in scrubland in the bush, but as there are more trees amongst the scrub than of late, that just adds to the remote feel of this particular part of the outback.
The road is straight except for three bends: a gentle right hander shortly after the start, a more pronounced right hander at halfway, and a subtle left hander at twenty miles. But the straightness of the road takes nothing away from the nasty climbs that lie in wait. I say nasty because you can see them coming in the distance, one after the other.
The rollout is uphill but that’s followed by a descent back down to the starting elevation by three miles. Then the first proper climb kicks in: a hundred and fifty feet in a mile and a half. Then there’s a short down/up to seven miles before a rapid five mile descent drops you down to the lowest elevation of the stage at just over two hundred feet at twelve miles. That signals the start of the toughest climb of the stage, two hundred and fifty feet over two miles to the fourteen mile mark. Then there’s a lumpy descent to seventeen miles before a further sharp lumpy climb takes you back up to twenty one miles.
Done with the climbing? Not a chance. The road descends sharply for a mile to twenty two miles, then it kicks upwards again all the way to the finish which is at virtually the highest elevation of the stage.
There are a lot of mad descents on the stage but they are far outdone by the amount of climbing that goes the other way. All in all, 334 is a real tester, particularly if you’re keen to attack the climbs.
Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres
Ascent: 932 feet / 284 metres
RGT Magic Road: RqH4HRz0WNfV
Max elevation: 457 ft
Min elevation: 227 ft
Total climbing: 932 ft
Total descent: -762 ft
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