The optimal route as the crow flies from Lisbon back to Paris is to head north east towards the Spanish border then just keep going via Madrid before hitting the Pyrenees as close to the Bay of Biscay as possible in order to minimise the climbing workload. Stages 738 and 739 got the ball rolling by navigating around the Mar da Palha and stage 740 carries on that good work by tacking north east into central Portugal. The profile suggests it’s a stage of three parts: a lumpy but gently ascending first part that’s followed by a steep descent. a lumpy flat middle section that’s followed by a climb, then a lumpy flat last section that runs to the finish. all three sections are of similar distance.
The rollout is uphill to Foros de Almada at two miles then it’s relatively flat to the EN515 junction heading west towards Benavente. After the junction, the road climbs up towards the right hander at seven miles then as the road takes the bend, it drops almost two hundred feet to cross the Canal de Sorraia a mile later. After the crossing, the road follows the line of the canal as it curves left past the southern side of Coruche before crossing the EN114 highway and passing through Montinhos dos Pegos at fourteen miles and Azervadinha a mile later. At the EN114 roundabout, the straight on ATW route swaps the EN119 for the EN251 and that’s the road that runs to the end of the stage.
From Azervadinha, the Rio Sorraia river and the Ribeira de Erra flow on the left hand side of the road and the Canal do Sorraia on the right. The Ribeira do Divor flows between the Rio Sorraia and the Canal at the top of the short climb at sixteen miles. Thereafter, the road descends gently to nineteen miles but then rises equally gently to the finish approaching the CM1425 junction at Courelas da Catela.
Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres
Ascent: 482 feet / 147 metres
RGT Magic Road: zF7b1JE3Oyjv
Max elevation: 371 ft
Min elevation: 178 ft
Total climbing: 481 ft
Total descent: -499 ft
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