This is another great stage. Just like its predecessors, it gives you a mile to warm your legs up, then bang, the road suddenly shoots skywards. The climb from two miles to five miles is quite severe to begin with, and offers a great chance to split the pack. Miles five to ten offer some respite, indeed there’s even a short descent a seven miles, which is then repeated at ten miles.
The route is north east across the south eastern corner of Lithuania, running parallel with the Belarus border at a distance of around thirty miles. If you’re a fan of bends, then this stage will suit your style because the road meaners continuously as it tacks norther east, then north then finally north east again.
But all the time through that first half, your gaze is drawn towards the dark red patch on the elevation profile just after eleven miles. It may only be a short climb, but at 7%, it’s enough to support an attack. Thereafter the rest of the stage is just undulatingly lumpy, so any gains already made have to be defended every time the road goes uphill, which is quite often.
From the rollout approaching Giedraiciai from the south, the road swings sharp right after a mile and a half, nipping through Martyniskiai immediately before the start of the first big climb. The route then meanders left and right for about six miles, passing by Sarkiskiai at three miles, Zanenai at four miles, Sareikiskiai and Jasiuliskiai (either side of five miles), Tumencizna at six miles and finally Didziokai at seven miles before hanging a long left hander through the forest. Once out the other side, there’s a left right S bend between the lakes at Zvirbliskes followed by another water event past Lake Luokesai at fourteen miles.
The largest town on the route, Moletai at fifteen miles, is big enough to qualify for an RGT place name at the road side, It’s followed by a mixture of forest and rural scenery before the half mile long uphill straight to the finish at Ciulenai.
Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres
Ascent: 774 feet / 236 metres
RGT Magic Road: A5qqwoH69d9b
Max elevation: 1054 ft
Min elevation: 795 ft
Total climbing: 777 ft
Total descent: -739 ft
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