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Stage 747 – Merida to Santa Amalia

Strategically, this is an important stage, because it turns north east not once but twice, and never really relinquishes its grip on an east/north tack, finishing in a good few miles north latitude-wise than it starts. The Spanish leg has been needing that. It goes down as a climber but that’s only because of the challenge that awaits straight out of the gate: once you get to five miles (you’ve got to get there first, of course), the descent is good fun.

The rollout is immediately uphill and east/north east in direction as the road crosses over the main A-5 highway and trundles into Trujillanos aftr a mile. Out the other side of town, the Avenida de Merida has the A-5 Autovia del Suroeste on its right as the gradient increases with every pedal stroke. There are intersecting roads in big roundabouts either side of four miles, and it’s at the second of these that the road peaks at the highest elevation on the stage.

Down the other side, the road sweeps right on a long curving bend into San Pedro de Merida before hanging a sharp right on leaving the town and recrossing the A-5 a mile later at the foot of the descent. Once the road straightens up and starts heading north east, it picks up the line of the Arrooyo de Fresneda river (on the right of the road) and follows that to eight miles where the road crosses the A-5 for a third time.

As the road continues on north east, it curves right at ten miles, and after crossing the Arrooyo de Fresneda, crosses the A-5 for a fourth time, hanging a left following by a U turn right then a final left after the crossing into Torrfresneda. After the town, the A-5 bends north/north east, never to be seen again on the stage, while the ATW route, which is now the A-430, follows, then crosses the Rio Burdalo en route to Santa Amalia at seventeen miles. There, the route hangs a left at the Estacion de Servicio Repsol (service station) before turning right at the next roundabout and climbing gently to the finish which is midway between Santa Amalia and Valdehornillos.

Distance: 20 miles / 32 kilometres

Ascent: 617 feet / 188 metres

RGT Magic Road: ei5efDtNKLgI

Total distance: 18.97 mi
Max elevation: 1069 ft
Min elevation: 741 ft
Total climbing: 618 ft
Total descent: -564 ft

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