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Stage 575 – Medicine Lake to Crimson Lake

This is not a nice stage. Actually, I’d go further than that: this is a difficult stage with not much of a fun factor to it even though the mid section from seven miles to just over eighteen miles looks downhill: ish. With over a thousand feet of climbing on offer, and most of that in one big climb before half way, this is a stage that will leave its mark on your legs.

The rollout is lumpy flat and south for almost four miles to the junction with Highway 53 which heads east at the foot of the main climb. Despite the attraction of the change of direction, Around the World remains on Highway 22 and climbs four hundred feet by the time the road hands a forty five degree bend at seven miles. Over the top, which is naturally the highest elevation of the stage, the road descends, running straight and south east, to a bend back left at ten miles. After that there are no further changes of direction and the highway continues to head south for the rest of the stage.

As the road heads south, so it draws ever closer to the North Saskatchewan River which is flowing the other way (south to north). The river has originated in the Rockies and headed west to Rocky Mountain House, which is a feature of the next stage, where is merges with the Clearwater River on its journey north. Highway 22 has an undulating relationship with the landscape as it approaches the river, most of which is lumpy and downhill from the first summit, but once the road passes the river at its closest point at eighteen miles, it starts climbing again, and that climb continues gently all the way to the finish.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 1053 feet / 321 metres

RGT Magic Road: ZtAwW6mXmKUA

Total distance: 21.49 mi
Max elevation: 3560 ft
Min elevation: 3042 ft
Total climbing: 1053 ft
Total descent: -961 ft

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