It’s hard to label stage 628 as either a climber or a descender as the totals of ascent and descent are very similar, but what it does have is a significant down/up at four miles and another at eighteen miles, both featuring rivers. The route is south on Highway 59, running parallel with the North Dakota state border but separated by around thirty five miles.
The rollout is lumpy and downhill past the small community of Winger at two miles, to the crossing of the Sand Hill River at four miles. The descent is gradual all the way to three miles before the gradient gathers significant momentum in the final mile, a characteristic that’s mirrored in reverse on the other side as the road climbs steeply back up to the same elevation as before. The road swings left then right at five miles which shifts the southerly trajectory a tad to the east, then the road is lumpy and generally flat all the way to Bejou at nine miles.
After Bejou, there are Wildlife Management Areas either side of the highway: Wambach and Rush to the left, Bejou and Dittmer to the right. The road then remains straight all the way to Mahnomen at eighteen miles, and it’s there that the highway bends left to head down to the Wild Rice River crossing at nineteen miles. The road climbs steeply away from the river, hanging a right a mile further on, and the finish is just around that curve at the junction with T93 (west) and Csah 11 (east). The finishing line is the highest elevation on the stage.
Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres
Ascent: 259 feet / 79 metres
RGT Magic Road: K9NntN6jjNkg
Max elevation: 1226 ft
Min elevation: 1150 ft
Total climbing: 258 ft
Total descent: -271 ft
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