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Stage 670 – Sault Ste Marie to Churchville

Goodbye United States, hello Canada (again). Starting on the US side of the border in Sault Ste Marie, stage 670 crosses the border in the middle of the St Mary’s River before hanging a looping right hander on the Canadian side and heading generally east, although it’s actually north east then south east the way it plays out on the road. And inevitably for a stage that’s got a big river in it, there’s a significant amount of climbing on offer, especially in the lumpy second half.

The rollout is flat and straight north on Highway 129 to Saute Sainte Marie Municipal Airport which pops up on the left hand side of the road just before the two mile mark. After the airport, the road descends before taking a left onto West Easterday Avenue. However the journey along there is short because less than a mile later, at Lake Superior State University, the route turns sharp right onto Highway 76 north heading straight for the river.

The crossing over the Sault Sainte Marie International Bridge is undulating. On the US side of the border, which remember is in the middle of the river, the road crosses three islands, then on the Canadian side, it crosses two more before reaching dry land on a sweeping right hander. Interestingly, the Canadian side of the crossing is the highest elevation of the stage, whilst the lowest is a mile later in the city of Sault Sainte Marie itself.

After the road swings right on the Canadian side, it snakes right/left right through the centre of Sault Sainte Marie before heading south east along Bay Street towards Clergue Park. On reaching the park, the road swings left then right onto Wellington Street East before curving left at Queen Elizabeth field at eight miles. That’s a lot of action to have packed into the start of such a pivotal stage.

The road then undulates through the Eastside district of the city before hanging a big left/right loop around the meandering river near to Silver Creek Golf Club at thirteen miles. That’s as far north as the stage gets on the route and after passing the golf club, Highway 17, as the route has now become, heads south east for the remainder of the stage. The road crosses the Garden River at seventeen miles, ironically at the top of a short up/down, before descending past Boss Lake and Wigwas Lake which both sit up on the hill to the left (north). The finish is midway between Wigwas Lake to the north and Lake George to the south: it feeds into the St Mary’s River on the east side of Sault Sainte Marie.

Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres

Ascent: 417 feet / 127 metres

RGT Magic Road: FsVCtVUpVoOO

Total distance: 20.96 mi
Max elevation: 712 ft
Min elevation: 580 ft
Total climbing: 418 ft
Total descent: -519 ft

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