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Stage 739 – Porto Alto to Herdede do Zambujeiro

This is a strange stage. It starts near Porto Alto and ends at Herdada do Zambujeiro which is maybe twelve miles or so away heading south east as the crow flies: there’s a road, the EN10, which the ATW route is already on as it leaves the start pen, that runs between them to within a mile at the finish. But the route of stage 739 doesn’t go that way. It goes south from Porto Alto then turns sharp left after eleven miles to make its way back north again. C’est la vie.

And so to the detail. The rollout is straight, heading south east and gently rising to Porto Alto at two miles where the route hangs a right from EN10 onto EN118. The road then descends to cross the Vala da Ponteda Pedra river at four miles and that bags the prize for the lowest elevation of the stage. From there the road rises consistently but somewhat lumpily (ie it’s a slog but without any sharp changes of gradient) to the left hander where the route swaps EN118 for EN119. The EN118 highway carries on further south to Alcochete which sits across Mar da Palha from Lisbon.

Having made the turn, the road just keeps on rising, as if the change of direction has made no difference whatsoever. The Albufeira de Michoes lake is across to the right, about three miles away on the hill, as the highway makes its way north east to the reservoir that’s dammed at its north western end at Barragem Vale do Cobrao. The dam was built and the low lying land flooded to provide a water supply in 1982. To the east of both the road and the reservoir lies the Ribagolfe Oaks golf course.

Beyond the golf course, the E119 crosses the EN10 that kicked off the stage and the A13 highway running east/west followed two miles later by the finishing line just after the Rio Almansor river approaching the town of Herdada do Zambujeiro.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 446 feet / 136 metres

RGT Magic Road: Fbvwhzo6gSmQ

Total distance: 21.5 mi
Max elevation: 292 ft
Min elevation: 154 ft
Total climbing: 447 ft
Total descent: -369 ft

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