On the map, I really like the look of this stage: it clings to the coastline of Victoria, albeit a couple of miles inland from the water, as the coast weaves its way in and out north west of the Bass Strait. It means that the road has a good wibbly wobbly meandering feel to it, and of course, being near to the coast without actually touching it, there are some fun climbs and descents to test the legs.
The rollout is lumpy straight off, with a bit of an uphill feel to it for the first three miles. But as you approach Goose Lagoon on the left hand side of the road, you’ll get to enjoy the first short sharp descent of the stage. However any sense of respite is short-lived and as the Princes Highway snakes left then right either side of five miles, you’ll find yourself on a gradual three mile climb that doesn’t end until the road descends into Port Fairy at seven miles.
As the name suggests, Port Fairy is as close to the water as you’re likely to get on the stage so when the road hangs a left in the middle of town, so begins a nine mile climb that takes in the Moyne River at ten miles, The Carleton Inn at thirteen miles and Killarney at fourteen miles. It’s at Killarney, as the roads heads further inland, that the gradient increases, and the two miles up to Tower Hill Reserve, featuring Tower Hill Lake at sixteen miles offer the stiffest climbing test of the stage to its highest elevation at (just) a hundred and forty feet.
Over the top, the road descends through Illowa, where it kicks back up again briefly, to cross the Merri River on the outskirts of Warrnambool at twenty one miles. As the road trundles on through the western side of the town, it becomes much more lumpy and features a nasty little climb at twenty three miles on the final approach to the finishing line which is at the crossroads where the A1 meets the B120 Banyan Street.
Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres
Ascent: 561 feet / 171 metres
RGT Magic Road: 3Ak72fsvQb3z
Max elevation: 141 ft
Min elevation: -37 ft
Total climbing: 562 ft
Total descent: -476 ft
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