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Stage 581 – Huxley to Three Hills

The simple version of this preview says that Highway 21 heads south through the lower right hand corner of Alberta for fifteen miles before turning left (east) onto route 27 for the remainder of the stage. It might also add that the road passes through Trochu at three miles and Three Hills at eleven miles. What it might fail to mention, however, is that there is zero flat road on the stage and although it looks like a climber, it’s actually a descender by almost a hundred feet.

The rollout is straight, flat and south for half a mile before a short descent leads into the first climb: it tops out just after two miles. The road then descends back down into Trochu where it does a minor left/right/left shimmy past the town on the left at the left hand bend and the golf club on the left at the right hand bend.

Once the straight road resumes south of Trochu, the Township Road junctions come thick and fast: so do the hills. There are climbs at four miles, seven miles, thirteen miles and fifteen miles, and descents at six miles, eleven miles (from the highest elevation of the stage), thirteen miles and seventeen miles. As it said at the top of the show, there are no flat roads of any significant duration anywhere to be seen.

Three Hills sits on the right hand side of the road at eleven miles, and although there aren’t three hills on Highway 21 at that point, there is an airport on the left hand side at twelve miles. After Three Hills, its straight and lumpily downhill to the junction with Route 27 (aka Township Road 312) at fifteen miles where the route turns left off Highway 21. The road climbs lumpily for the first half of the six mile run east to the finish, before descending steeply to the end from the summit at nineteen miles. The finishing line is at Range Road 225 which itself is just before Highway 836.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 722 feet / 220 metres

RGT Magic Road: VgV5yLLZTEDv

Total distance: 21.47 mi
Max elevation: 3013 ft
Min elevation: 2734 ft
Total climbing: 723 ft
Total descent: -805 ft

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