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Stage 357 – Crystal Brook to The Middle of Nowhere

Just as with the climb inland from the Great Australian Bight on the other side of Spencer Gulf before Around The World reached Port Augusta, the stages away from Port Pirie follow a similar pattern as the Augusta Highway passes by the top end of the finger shaped headland that has Point Turton and Yorketown at its southern most tip.

The rollout west of Crystal Brook is lumpy and downhill for five miles to Merriton where the railway branches off left while the road carries on to cross the Broughton river: at just over two hundred feet above sea level, that’s the lowest elevation of the stage, which should give you more than just a hint of what’s to come. The road remains flat for a mile as the river meanders alongside on the left, but at seven miles the road kicks sharply uphill before immediately descending back down to meet the water again.

The next climb begins at eight miles as the road approaches Broughton Park, and from there it’s basically lumpy and uphill for the remainder of the stage. The halfway kite is just before Pilks Corner at eleven miles in one of the climb’s short respites, but the climb soon gets its act back together again past Prankherd Corner, Hydon, Seton, Bellevue and Collinsfield where there are junctions west on tarmac and east on red dirt.

The climb flattens out after Collinsfield, and although there’s some relief from the climb in the form of a down/up by Brookleigh at nineteen miles, the road rises again past Lake View at twenty one miles on the run in to the finish line in the middle of nowhere.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 486 feet / 148 metres

RGT Magic Road: dsn1X7uDaUAK

Total distance: 21.53 mi
Max elevation: 458 ft
Min elevation: 219 ft
Total climbing: 486 ft
Total descent: -387 ft

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