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Stage 672 – Desbarats to Thessalon

672 is one of those annoying lumpy stages that never seems to give you a moment’s peace. As a rough guideline, I counted fifteen climbs or mini climbs in preparing this preview, and even though some of them are relatively small, they’ll still suck the strength from your legs. Basically, there’s virtually no flat road. The stage runs east/south east along the northern shore of St Joseph’s Channel looking out to sea over Cedar Island and Birch Island (on your right) and because it tries to maintain as straight a course as it can, while the coastline does not, that’s what gives the stage its undulating nature.

The rollout is tame for a mile, heading east along Highway 17, but the hills don’t take long to appear: the first one kick in before you can even utter the works “Uphill right hand bend”. By the time the road gets back down to the shoreline at Bruce Mines at seven miles, a few of the lumps are out of the way, but worse is still to come.

The road climbs over two further headlands to ten miles and it’s there that the main fun of the fair kicks off. There’s a one hundred foot climb in half a mile to eleven miles, then a down/up to the highest elevation of the stage at twelve miles. But that’s a close run thing because after respite at thirteen miles, the road rises again to within a foot of the same max elevation at fourteen miles. It’s that kind of a stage.

Off the top of the fourteen mile peak, the road descends two hundred feet to Macbeth Creek down by the coast at sixteen miles. Then it’s up again over the next headland, and so it continues until the stage rolls into Thessalon at nineteen miles where Highway 17 crosses the river of the same name. That just leaves enough time and distance for one last testing climb and as the road leaves Thessalon, so it climbs, straight at first, before levelling off around a looping right hander into the finish next to Green Lane.

Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres

Ascent: 669 feet / 204 metres

RGT Magic Road: YJfsGf9yoCWM

Total distance: 20.97 mi
Max elevation: 685 ft
Min elevation: 563 ft
Total climbing: 668 ft
Total descent: -604 ft

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