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Stage 63 – Daugavpils to Aglonas Stacija

This is one of the toughest stages to date. The hills are plentiful and they have a real bite to them. It matters not a jot whether you are riding solo, with bots or in a group of real life avatars, this stage will bite your legs! It runs north east away from Daugavpils (and the Daugava river) and by the time stage is finished, the journey through Latvia will be around 40% complete, such is the short distance of the land border than has Belarus on its south eastern flank between Lithuania and Russia.

The rollout is straight and uphill: there are just over two miles of climbing before a short stretch of respite offers some relief, after which the road climbs again to Daugavpils airport. There then follows some lumpy up and down stuff – mainly down, thankfully – before the climbing starts all over again at seven miles, just after Malinova. You’ll recognise the climb of the RGT profile: it’s the orange bit just before halfway. That climb, which passes by Dzerbaki at eight miles and Bondariski a mile later, peaks at twelve miles before a three mile lumpy descent delivers you to the foot of the next tester which starts as the road leaves Spogi.

At this point the A13 is running parallel to the railway line so it would make a very interesting iron horse race to see who can get to the finish first, you or the train: there are further testing climbs at fifteen miles and nineteen miles and both are candidates for the toughest of the stage: however you’re still not done with the climbing because after you crest the second of those at twenty miles, you’ve just got time to get your breath back before the final mile long climb kicks in to the finish.

Towards the end of the stage, the route crosses municipal boundaries: it crosses from Augsdaugavas Novads into Preili Municipality at nineteen miles then right at the finish line, the A13 arrives at the boundary between Preili Municipality and Rezekne Municipality.

As stages go, it’s actually pretty straight, apart from a gentle left/right switchback on the approach to Spogi: but the overriding feature of the stage has to be cresting one summit only to see the road climbing again in the far distance: on repeat.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 817 feet / 249 metres

RGT Magic Road: TP7zLZcKmCxn

Total distance: 22.01 mi
Max elevation: 1046 ft
Min elevation: 787 ft
Total climbing: 816 ft
Total descent: -657 ft

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