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Stage 699 – Ormstown to Hemmingford

This is interesting. After starting off heading south east towards the US border, the stage hangs a left and tacks along it at a safe distance of around four miles: no chance of inadvertently getting caught offside then. What the stage does do is leave all options open: did Mark Beaumont carry straight on and cross from Quebec into north west Vermont then Maine? That’s certainly the shortest route to Nova Scotia which is where ATW is headed. But the shortest isn’t always the best because Mark needed his total mileage to exceed 18,000 so the answer to this conundrum isn’t yet clear. The route may yet head north towards Quebec and remain wholly within Canada. All will be revealed in the coming stages.

The rollout from the lowest point on the stage is south east and flat but the second clause of that changes as soon as Highway 201 has snaked its way through Ormstown and crossed the Chateauguay River after just half a mile. Leaving town, the road climbs between some small bunches of water left and right but remains straight to the Camping Lac des Pins at six miles where the highway weaves left then right into Sainte Antoine-Abbe. On the far side of town, with the gradient increasing all the time, Highway 201 joins Highway 202 and the route takes a left onto H202 heading east. That mile after the junction, which is at the highest elevation on the stage, is probably the flattest mile on the stage because once the road straightens out at eleven miles, it marks the start of a long descent.

Havelock is first on the agenda at eleven miles, followed by The Fort at eighteen miles by which time the gradient is starting to ease off into something akin to just a gentle albeit lumpy descent. Immediately after the Fort, the road crosses the English River which is flowing south to north towards Sainte Chrysotome: a second river, Ruisseau Prevost, flows into the English River just north of The Fort then Highway 202 follows the Ruisseau for three miles to nineteen miles.

That leaves just enough time for the road to undulate up and down over a number of small climbs, none of which will trouble the scorers, but they do signify stream crossings on the way to the finish at Hemingford Sport and Country Club. Amongst the water crossings on the lumpy run in are Ruisseau Norton and Ruisseau Norton Branche Est half a mile later.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 676 feet / 206 metres

RGT Magic Road: RfcHjsAxey4h

Total distance: 21.45 mi
Max elevation: 549 ft
Min elevation: 192 ft
Total climbing: 627 ft
Total descent: -523 ft

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