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Stage 742 – Pavia to Sousel

This is a strange stage because it sets out heading north/north east, which is a good direction to be heading in after the previous stage had tacked south east, but the once it gets to the border between the Evora District and the Portalegre District, it hangs a right and starts tacking east before eventually making the crossing at a latitude south of where it could have done earlier. After that the route is basically east/north east which is okay but it would have been more useful if it had finished further north. The stage is also a climber, but worse than that, most of the climbing is in the second half which basically marks 742 out as a challenging stage.

The rollout is lumpy down and up, crossing the Reibera de Tera after just half a mile before descending further to the Ribeira de Almadale at the district border at four miles: but as previously mentioned, instead of remaining on the ER370 and crossing the river, the route instead hangs a right onto the CM1008 and tracks the river for a short while before turning right and starting the climb that characterises the stage. The highway passes by small lakes at both five and six miles before curving right into Malarranha at seven miles. The right hander necessitates a two mile looping detour that takes the route south before heading back north and by the time the road has started heading east again, the CM1008 has become the CM1092 courtesy of a T junction at eight miles.

Past more water at ten miles, the stages finally crosses into the Portalegre District shortly after, and despite glimbing gently to thirteen miles, flattens out from there to Casa Branca at fifteen miles where the CM1092 joins the EM372. The road loops around the southern side of the town as a kind of outer ring road before resuming the north easterly tack to Cano at eighteen miles on flat terrain.

At Cano, the road hangs a right at the Campo de Futebol de Cano and starts climbing all over again. That climb tops out at the highest elevation on the stage at twenty miles, and that leaves just enough time and distance to knock off another down/up before the finish past the summit of Sao Bartolomeu.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 899 feet / 274 metres

RGT Magic Road: xGEfIVT6aEm9

Total distance: 21.49 mi
Max elevation: 941 ft
Min elevation: 421 ft
Total climbing: 898 ft
Total descent: -613 ft

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