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Stage 621 – Lawton to Mapes

There are plenty of roads that head south, and there are plenty of roads that head east: indeed they meet at intersections every couple of miles. I suspect that the trick for Mark Beaumont was to go for the higher quality surfaces, even if that meant taking a slightly longer route. However with a lot – and I mean a lot – of small lakes out to the east, it makes a lot of sense for ATW to get some much needed southerly miles in right now. The stage is flat but not flat. There’s precious little ‘flat’ tarmac because the ride’s so lumpy, but at a hundred and forty feet of both ascent and descent, it will feel like a flat stage. In trajectory terms, it’s south, then south east a bit, then south again before finally heading east: basically, everything in a desirable direction.

The rollout is uphill but that’s no big deal because the highest elevation of the stage is in the bag after just a mile. Highway 1 then descends for five miles, passing by Brocket and taking in the aforementioned south easterly on a pair of bends. I’m not sure what’s going on at the intersection of North Dakota Highway 1 with 51st Street NE at nine miles because Google Maps labels both roads as Route 1, heading north/south and east/west respectively.

After that it’s pretty much business as usual with intersecting County Roads and the odd lake for company, but that all changes on sixteen miles when the show rolls into Lakota. Highway 2, which links Bartlett to the west with Michigan City to the east, meets Highway 1 at Lakota Municipal Airport and it’s there that ATW hangs a left and takes Highway 2 heading east. From the airport, the road descends for a couple of miles but from the junction with 107th Avenue NE at eighteen miles, it’s uphill all the way to the finish, if you could call fifteen feet of ascent in two miles ‘uphill’.

Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres

Ascent: 197 feet / 60 metres

RGT Magic Road: KlZ1GbYy4KNz

Total distance: 20.46 mi
Max elevation: 1490 ft
Min elevation: 1453 ft
Total climbing: 197 ft
Total descent: -199 ft

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