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Stage 597 – Loreburn to Tugaske

Here’s a fun stage that makes all the right noises geographywise and terrainwise, except for one nasty wee blip at sixteen miles, more about which later. The route is south east alongside the eastern shore of Lake Diefenbaker, a strange shaped bunch of water that seems to morph into the South Saskatchewan River thirty miles west of Highway 19. Although the road’s heading south east, it’s still currently (just) heading for north eastern Montana over the border in the United States, but that will change in the coming stages. North Dakota, Around The World is heading your way.

The rollout is lumpy flat for a couple of miles to just short of Elbow which sits above the west bank of the lake. From Elbow, Highway 19 descends gently/lumpily down to Mistusinne which sits right on the water’s edge. Then it’s relatively flat to the right hander at fourteen miles where the highway hugs the end of the lake: around that corner, the road dives down to cross the Qu’Appelle River, which is not only the lowest elevation of the stage by a distance, but the signal for a really testing climb back up the other side of the water.

Having crossed the river, the road swings left then runs straight for two miles before turning left again onto Highway 367 to set up the run to the finish. But it’s that climb away from the river that’s the killer: two hundred feet of climbing in the mile to seventeen miles. Once over the top of the climb, which only just fails to dislodge the start from its title as the highest elevation of the stage, its’s gently downhill all the way to the finish four miles south east of the lake and still heading in that general direction.

Distance: 20 miles / 32 kilometres

Ascent: 463 feet / 141 metres

RGT Magic Road: MJQjNQvOddiY

Total distance: 20 mi
Max elevation: 1982 ft
Min elevation: 1773 ft
Total climbing: 461 ft
Total descent: -516 ft

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