With Geelong firmly in the rear view mirror, it’s now full steam ahead towards Melbourne and the final leg across the outback up to Brisbane. As with all stages that head inland from the coast, stage 385 is an uphiller, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that the difference between the ascent and descent is less than a hundred feet and neither does much damage to four hundred feet of either.
The A10 Melbourne Road heads out through the northern suburbs of Geelong, climbing for a mile until the left/right combo at one mile where the road dives back down to cross Cowies Creek: being right on the coast, that effectively means sea level. The climb away from the crossing takes the route through the Norlane district before another descent drops down to Stead Park at three miles.
At Rosewall after four miles, the A10 swings right for half a mile before it turns left at Geelong Grammar School past the Corio Native Grasslands Reserve. There, at six miles, the route has to negotiate a tricky interchange in order to cross over the M1 highway: the route is sharp left, on for two hundred metres, then sharp right for another two hundred metres before a series of right/left bends put you onto Rennie Street alongside the main highway. The first part of the manoeuvre alongside the Nature Reserve is lumpy flat before a short climb kicks in alongside the M1. After the climb, the road descends steeply to cross Hovells Creek at eight miles then the road swings left as it skirts around the eastern edge of Lara Dog Park.
Into Lara itself, the road turns right at Mittagong Camp Site then left onto Old Melbourne Road at ten miles. As the road passes by Avalon Airport, it starts to climb steeply and by the time it reaches thirteen miles, it attains the highest elevation of the stage, albeit that it’s only just over a hundred feet as it’s so close to the coast.
From thereonin, the remainder of the stage is much more docile in terms of elevation, and apart from a kick upwards at nineteen miles, the rest of the stage is relatively flat.
Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres
Ascent: 404 feet / 123 metres
RGT Magic Road: oHpvuBSs26oi
Max elevation: 127 ft
Min elevation: 23 ft
Total climbing: 405 ft
Total descent: -330 ft
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