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Stage 428 – Southbrook to Withcott

Stage 428 finally brings an end to the climbing that’s been going on relentlessly for the last four or five stages. Toowoomba is high, sitting at over two thousand feet above sea level, and after passing through the town, this stage throws up a rollicking good finish because the final four miles lose over twelve hundred feet of that.

But first let’s deal with the front end of the stage: the rollout is flat and straight after negotiating the right hander after half a mile. The road remains flat all the way to the junction of the Toowoomba-Athol Road at five miles where the Around The World route finally leaves the A39 (Gore Highway) carrying on east instead on the A139 Toowoomba-Athol Road.

The road then dips gently to Westbrook Wyreema Road at seven miles where the climbing starts all over again, albeit gently at this point. The gradient increases as the highway passes through the Drayton district of Toowoomba, and continues climbing through Harristown and Newtown. There’s then a two mile down/up along James Street, passing by the Toowoomba Base Hospital at sixteen miles. Then at the intersection with Cohoe Street, the road swings left towards Redwood before completing a horseshoe right/left loop into Redwood Park and that’s where the fun starts.

Redwood Park sits to the east of, and below Toowoomba so once the road, which is now the A21, enters the park, it starts descending immediately. The descent is steep and it’s not until the right hander on the exit that the gradient starts to flatten off. That heralds a straighter end to the stage and as the road approaches the finish in Withcott, the descent continues all the way to the line, albeit at a reduced gradient.

Distance: 23 miles / 37 kilometres

Ascent: 919 feet / 280 metres

RGT Magic Road: lfRZD2tpXrfM

Total distance: 23.02 mi
Max elevation: 2091 ft
Min elevation: 783 ft
Total climbing: 918 ft
Total descent: -1884 ft

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