This has the look of an uphill stage, especially since much of the second half is dominated by a climb that begins just before the kite, but in reality the end to end descent shades it by just over fifty feet. The route is north east – again – and it’s pretty much keeping Paris firmly in its sights. The end to end straight line, projected onwards aims east of the capital but that’s no big deal with almost two hundred and fifty miles still to knock off. The stage offers three nice descents and three climbs, one of which takes the stage to the finish up a steep ascent.
The rollout is flat for a couple of miles, bypassing Lussac on its eastern side, before passing through Les Rainauds after two miles then descending down to cross the La Son river at four miles. The climb away from the river crosses over the roundabout that carries the D739 Avenue Pasteur north west to Saint Cloud and south east to Nieuil before it peaks approaching Les Treis Chenes at seven miles.
Another descent then ensues, crossing the La Charente river at seven miles shortly after the summit. The descent gathers pace as it passes through Le Cluzeau at eight miles then crosses the Le Braillou river at nine miles: but that’s still not the bottom of the descent. That, somewhat ironically, is at Les Paupiquets just after ten miles where the D170 runs north west to Saint Martin and south east to La Neple but there’s no river involved. Les Paupiquets also claims the gong for the lowest elevation on the stage.
Without further ado, the main climb of the stage then gets its act together and it’s an eight mile challenge that throws two hundred and fifty feet of climbing in your direction. The attractions en route are La Maison Neuve at eleven miles, Cerisier de la Barre at twelve miles, La Villate at thirteen miles, Ansac sur Vienne at fourteen miles (where the road picks up the line of the La Vienne river flowing in the opposite direction), Le Ribaillot at fifteen miles, Confolens at sixteen miles (where the road crosses the river onto the eastern (right) bank) then finally Saint Germain de Confolens where the climb peaks at the highest elevation on the stage.
Out of town, the D952 crosses over the D951 on a right/left bend at nineteen miles before crossing the La Curre river straight after. That leaves just enough time and distance to descend over the Ruisseau de l’Etang de Monette river at twenty one miles before rolling into Anzac where the highway bends right into the town at the start of the final climb that takes the stage to the finish round a final left hander east of the nearby Chateau de Serre.
Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres
Ascent: 551 feet / 168 metres
RGT Magic Road: nhI5t4Msn9ZW
Max elevation: 180 ft
Min elevation: -66 ft
Total climbing: 551 ft
Total descent: -610 ft
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