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Stage 698 – Riviere-Beaudette to Ormstown

This is a surprise: having made tracks up the western side of the St Lawrence River on the previous stage, 698 makes the crossing at Les Coteaux and ends the stage heading south east, and once again away from Montreal. Will the route cross back into the United States and head through either Vermont or Maine, or even both, remains to be seen, but one thing is sure: all will be revealed in the next couple of stages. Stage 698 is neither an ascender nor a descender: the scores are tied in terms of feet gained and lost on the stage. But it’s not flat either because this is one of the more lumpy stages, and there have been plenty of them recently. But at only a tad above two hundred feet either up or down, 698’s something of a powerfest.

The rollout from the Marina at Notre Dame Des Riviere is lumpy but gently uphill for four miles through Saint-Zotique and Les Coteaux to the Canal de Soulanges where the road hogs the left hand side of the canal for a brief period before deviating left ahead of the right turn that crosses not just the canal but the St Lawrence River (which is now called the Fleure Siante-Laurent on the Quebec side of the border).

Having made the crossing, which passes over the islands of Ile Lienard and Ile d’Aloingny, Highway 201 rolls into the Georges Leduc district of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. Coming off the bridge, the route swings right onto the Rue Alexandre before crossing over the Riviere Sainte-Charles at nine miles in what can best be described as a lumpy stretch of road.

Two miles further on, at eleven miles, the road, which has now become Highway 132, crosses the Canal de Beauharnois and immediately after the crossing hangs a left to start heading south east towards the finish, which incidentally is still over nine miles away. The turn takes the route off H132 onto Highway 201 and as it heads out of town towards Landreville, the road climbs sharply for a short while but remains straight the whole time. At Landreville, the road swings right then left before resuming a straight run, and even though the road remains lumpy, there’s definitely a gentle downhill feel to the final four miles of the stage.

The stage finishes on the outskirts of Ormstown close to the Chateauguay River and it remains to be seen at the start of stage 699 where the route goes next.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 262 feet / 80 metres

RGT Magic Road: v7oa06oclOtQ

Total distance: 21.48 mi
Max elevation: 225 ft
Min elevation: 192 ft
Total climbing: 263 ft
Total descent: -263 ft

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