Two big bunches of water stand in the way of northerly progress on stage 781, but that’s no big deal because they force the route east and further inland which is a good way to go in terms of making the transition towards Bordeaux and hence onwards towards Paris. The route looks difficult on the profile but it really isn’t, offering less than two hundred feet of ascent end to end.
The rollout is uphill for three miles from Labadan, through Sainte Eulalie en Born after a mile, to Gastes on the shore of the Lac de Biscarrosse et de Parentis at five miles: the initial climb topped out at three miles after which the route was lumpy flat to Gastes. The D652 hangs a right at Gates (otherwise it would end up in the lake) and climbs briefly to Esley at seven miles before descending again on a long curving left hander to Parentis en Born at nine miles: it’s a candidate for the lowest point of the stage but it misses out by a couple of feet. More on that later.
From Parentis en Born, the road becomes the D46 and it heads straight north to Sanguinet on the steepest climb of the stage. It’s not long, the road rising only seventy feet in three miles, but the summit at twelve miles is the highest elevation on the stage. It’s then lumpy flat for a couple of miles as the road crosses over the merge of the Canal de l’Arreillet and the Canal de Sanguinet before descending down into Sanguinet itself at nineteen miles: it bags the gong for the lowest point on the stage. There, with the Etang de Cazaux Sanguinet lake sitting between Sanguinet and the coast, the route once again becomes the D652 at a roundabout in the centre of town and the right hand turn takes the road over the La Gourgue river before climbing away from the water, past Lapireou on the left and on to the finish at Louse where the road is still climbing sharply as it crosses the line. That finish doesn’t bode well for the start of stage 782.
Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres
Ascent: 213 feet / 65 metres
RGT Magic Road: LBKKipGVvATq
Max elevation: 153 ft
Min elevation: 76 ft
Total climbing: 200 ft
Total descent: -167 ft
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