Bridges across the Ottawa river are few and far between on this stretch of water, so if the river heads south east, it’s a surefire bet that the road will go that way too as it sits on the south bank in Ontario. That is precisely what happens on stage 687. The river squeezes the water into a south easterly tack, and while it may not carry the firepower of the last few stages, the start of the stage has enough menace about it to make it another worthwhile challenge.
The rollout doesn’t do much for a mile but that all changes once Highway 17 passes the Meilleurs Road junction. After a short sharp rise, the road dives down to Meilleurs Bay, which unfortunately for your legs, is at the lowest elevation of the stage after just two miles. The climb up the other side after the causeway across the bay is steep, lumpy and daunting. The initial climb is a hundred and fifty feet in a mile but by the time the road passes over the summit at five miles, it’s also claimed the highest elevation on the stage.
There’s then a down/up before a longer descent takes Highway 17 down to Deep River/Ralph Airport at eight miles, and that’s followed by a further gentle descent into the town of Deep River itself. The road rises out the other side of the town and it climbs past Big Rat Lake and Maskinonge Lake on the left and Blackduck Lake on the right en route to Chalk River at fifteen miles.
By now the vast majority of the climbing is in the rear view mirror and what’s left is merely lumpy on otherwise flat terrain. The road picks up the Chalk River at the eastern end of Corry Lake at seventeen miles and keeps the river on its right hand side until the water crosses under the road two miles later. There’s more water at twenty miles when the highway crosses Young Creek then it’s a straight flat run to the finishing line adjacent to Duke Lake on the approach to Petawawa.
Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres
Ascent: 614 feet / 187 metres
RGT Magic Road: 8moILZjrV6gH
Max elevation: 568 ft
Min elevation: 389 ft
Total climbing: 615 ft
Total descent: -599 ft
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