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Stage 744 – Vila Fernando to Badajoz

Goodbye Portugal, hello Spain! And it looks like my hunch from a few stages back was correct: the border crossing happens west of Badajoz before heading into town where the stage ends. As stages go, it’s a massive descender, and not only that but the best sort of massive descender because the vast majority of the climbing is complete by one third distance, leaving the rest of the stage, with its eleven hundred feet of descent, a joy to behold.

The rollout east from Vila Fernando on the EM371 skips south of the town, climbing all the way past a dammed reservoir on the left at three miles ahead of the summit at four miles that also ranks as the highest elevation on the stage by some distance.

From the summit, the road descends to cross the Route A6 highway that runs east/west between the Spanish border at Badajoz and Landeira north east of Setubal. Beyond the highway, which appears at seven miles, the road descends further before meeting the Aqueduto da Amoreira aqueduct a mile later. The road runs alongside the aqueduct to nine miles where it goes under the water bridge ahead of the Avenida de Badajoz roundabout where the aqueduct briefly crosses back over the road as it heads into the city.

The route skips round the southern perimeter of Elvas before emerging out the other side of town on much flatter terrain. From thirteen miles, the route runs alongside the main A6 highway heading for the border and it arrives there four miles later after passing by a large service station.

Once over the border, the route, which has now become BA-20, swings by the Universidad de Extramdura and on towards the San Fernando district of the city and the Guadiana River where the road hands a left past Santa Engracia to the finish on the N523 Avenida Adolo Suarez.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 561 feet / 171 metres

RGT Magic Road: 7xV1wf3KiLd0

Total distance: 21.56 mi
Max elevation: 1470 ft
Min elevation: 543 ft
Total climbing: 560 ft
Total descent: -1127 ft

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