I might have got Toldeo wrong when I was trying to plot a course north from Ciudad Real a few stages ago, but this one was bang on the money. There are three bunches of water north of Jadraque close to where stage 764 finished: Embalse de Alcorlo, the Palmaces Reservoir and the El Atance Reservoir and I suggested in the introduction to that stage that the lake (that’s the Embalse de Alcorlo) was to be avoided because of the climbs that came with it. The other two climb as well, just not to the same extent. Around The World is back heading north east, and it’s doing so by sliding between the two reservoirs on a long steady drag of a climb that will drain all the life out of your legs. But at least it won’t bite them. It’s a climber almost from the first whistle and with over thirteen hundred feet on offer, you’ll be pleased when it’s finally over.
The rollout is downhill so enjoy it while you can. The road crosses Rio Henares after less than a mile then you have the first climb which thankfully is only short and only reclaims what was lost on the descent. I should mention incidentally that the Rio Henares crossing bags the lowest elevation of the stage so you can be sure that it’s going to hurt from hereonin.
Into Jirueque at two miles, the CM-101 highway crosses the Arroyo de Torrelahija which has merged with the Arroyo de los Morteros just half a mile up the road. On the right hand side of the crossing, the Arroyo de Torrelahija then merges with the Arroyo de los Rizalez and the combined rivers then flow south as the Arroyo del Prado. A complex set of river junctions for sure.
Beyond Jirueque, the road just climbs. That’s it. The steepest gradient is at the start as the road leaves town, but it’s never steep, just a slog. The road meanders left and right several times on its way up the hill, but features are few and far between. But road junctions aren’t. There’s a junction on the right that heads off to Cendejas del Padrastro after four miles and one off to the left to Torremocha de Jadraque two miles later. Following on from there, Negredo is on the right at seven miles and the junction opposite heads off to the Palmaces Reservoir, thereby confirming that the route is indeed passing between the reservoirs as it continues to head north.
Next up is Angon at ten miles and you could almost be excused for thinking that the road has flattened out at that point: actually it has, but it won’t last. By the time the CM-101 gets to Rebollesa de Jadraque at twelve miles, the road’s on the rise again but it does dip down long enough to pick up the GU-148 at thirteen miles before carrying on north, still as the CM-101 and still climbing. The summit, and it’s a close run thing because there are two candidates, is the peak just after Cardenosa at fifteen miles where the elevation hits an impressive three thousand five hundred feet: you know what they say about what goes up, must come down. It’s the highest elevation on the stage.
Off the top, there’s just enough time and distance left to descend gently to Riofrio del Llano, but as the road leaves that community, heading almost straight north, it starts climbing all over again to the finish line and that doesn’t bode well for stage 766.
Distance: 17 miles / 27 kilometres
Ascent: 1407 feet / 429 metres
RGT Magic Road: MmKhaVHuKK1t
Max elevation: 3492 ft
Min elevation: 2643 ft
Total climbing: 1407 ft
Total descent: -833 ft
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