There’s a metric I use to gauge the challenge of a stage: it’s the average elevation per mile, which roughly translates into the amount of climbing you need to do on an ongoing basis. On the face of it, this stage looks a doddle at 384ft of ascent stretched out over almost 25 miles. The stage kicks off with a nice low asking rate of 15 feet per mile and with miles one to five being uphill, you get an early sense that everything is under control. But it’s not. By the time you get to ten miles, you’re back down at the same elevation that you started at, then after that, the road is either lumpy flat or gently uphill for a further ten miles.
As a consequence, with five miles to go, 15 feet per mile has become 20. With four miles to go, 20 has become 25, Then 25 becomes 30 and 30 becomes 35: and by the time you can see the red kite in the far distance, you’re still got another 40 feet to climb. Stage 43 is a slow burner that demands that you leave something in the tank for the finish because the last five miles are basically uphill.
The stage heads south east, tracking a line around seven miles south of the Wloclawek reservoir which sits north and south of the flow of the Wista river. The reservoir is the wide bit of the river between Wloclawek and Plock.
Starting in Debice, east of Kruszyn, the road is practically straight for the first five miles, crossing the Lubienka river after a mile before passing through the villages of Nalonowa (two miles) and Golaszewo (three miles) before arriving in Kowal, the first town of note at six miles. A quick right left combo through the town then takes the route onto another straight cross country segment which starts descending at Czlapa just a mile after leaving Kowal. There’s a gentle right hander at Rakutowo, half way down the descent at seven miles, then a right/left chicane at Swiatkowice at nine miles followed by a gentle left at Baruchowo after eleven miles.
There’s a gentle but lumpy climb from Baruchowo and it takes in Probostwo at twelve miles and Zawada-Piaski a mile later. At fourteen miles, by Zaluszkowo, the gradient increases a tad to Patrowo before gently descending again through Sosnowice at sixteen miles. The main lumpy climb of the stage begins at Huta Ratajska at nineteen miles and although it descends to cross the Skrwa river in Gostynin, the highway starts rising again straight after the crossing. Although Gostynin is billed as the finish, the route actually carries on for another four miles after taking a double left through the town and the stage finishes at the junction where the Plock road out of Gostynin meets the route 60 trunk road.
Distance: 25 miles / 40 kilometres
Ascent: 328 feet / 100 metres
RGT Magic Road: zrk5UWKCNAIy
Max elevation: 1032 ft
Min elevation: 954 ft
Total climbing: 329 ft
Total descent: -258 ft
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