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Stage 790 – Lussac les Chateaux to Bas Villiers

North west is not exactly the ideal direction to be going in, but with hills and rivers all around, stage 790 is not exactly spoiled for choice is deciding which way to go, and in any case, north is still okay. This stage does run north west, ironically following the coastline seventy miles away to the west (which is merely a coincidence): the Bay of Biscay is still with us, albeit a long way away. The stage is also a climber, putting on twice as many feet of ascent as it manages to lose in descent.

The rollout from Lussac les Chateaux is downhill for a mile to the eastern riverbank of the La Vienne. The west bank is much more populated with small towns and communities so the route has to make do with scenery instead. The Tallus d’un Village Gallo Romain, which one takes to be the remains of an old Roman village, is at two miles then there’s nothing of note until the junction with the D83 at three miles. The D83 heads north east to Le Theil aux Moines and the junction marks the start of a long undulating climb.

The road flattens for a mile at five miles approaching La Poiriere but after crossing the Aubignau river shortly after, starts climbing again. It’s flat once again through Le Gaschard and La Roussaliere at six miles but by the time the D749 Route de Lussac reaches Valdivienne at seven miles, it’s climbing again. That climb peaks shortly after passing the junction to Villeneuve at ten miles, then it’s downhill through Chauvigny where the road follows the La Vinne river left, to a flattening out just to the west of Chauvigny Airport.

After that, sadly, it’s a nine mile gentle uphill slog all the way to the finish. Past Les Bonneaux on the left and La Bonnetaliere on the right at fifteen miles, the road passes by the Etang de Bonnes lake shortly after, before climbing further past a whole bunch of small lakes on the left to Bellefonds at eighteen miles.

And still the road climbs. Fontaine de la Roserale and La Roche follow shortly after Bellefonds then the road minds its own business to Le Port at twenty miles then Pres des Saudieres a mile later. With just a mile left on the clock, and still more ascending to do, the climb peaks in Haut Villiers, just a quarter of a mile from the finish along the road in Bas Villiers. Naturally, the summit is the highest elevation on the stage.

Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres

Ascent: 725 feet / 221 metres

RGT Magic Road: xAScFKMpBKt6

Total distance: 23.46 mi
Max elevation: 1076 ft
Min elevation: 611 ft
Total climbing: 726 ft
Total descent: -378 ft

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