Heading north/north east, stage 791 takes a good step north but only a tiny step east in the quest to make Paris in ten stages’ time. If you project the start to end line out from the stage, it would miss Paris by fifty miles to the west so there’s going to be a significant correction coming in what remains of the journey. This stage is a descender. With over four times as much descent on offer as there is climbing, it will be an absolute powerfest virtually from from start to finish if you’re that way inclined. Failing that, it’s an easy recovery stage in which to recharge your legs.
The rollout is gently right and gently downhill for a mile, through La Belle Etoile and past Chitre and La Pajardarie on the right to a short sharp descent at the junction off to Availles en Chatellerault after a mile. Then the road curves left and runs straight and flat to Chatellerault-Targe Airport where the D749 gives way to the D161 by turning right at the roundabout north of the airport. The D161 is effectively a ring road that runs around the eastern side of Chatellerault and when the route emerges north of the town at Le Marais, it takes a another right onto the D910 Avenue d’Argenson heading north.
The route consists of long straights joined by curves for the most part and after a couple of those, the road rolls into Ingrandes at ten miles. There have been no significant water crossings to date, which is unusual, but that all changes a mile north of Ingrandes when the Le Battreau river flows east to west under the road into the La Vienne river.
The next community of note is La Fayette at fourteen miles, then the road, still descending, curves left through Dange Saint Romain soon after, following the line of the La Vienne river. Through Les Ormes at eighteen miles, the highway takes a big looping left/right/left across the Ruisseau de la Pree river and into Port de Piles at twenty miles before straightening up and crossing the La Creuse river into Le Corps de Garde soon after.
All that remains on the stage after Le Corps de Garde is a downhill run through La Celle Saint Avant, and across the roundabout where the Route de Maillie heads north west to Breteigne and the D750 heads south east to Le Pet de Fourche. The ATW route carries straight on at the roundabout and the finish is at the junction off to the right to La Goutraye.
Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres
Ascent: 249 feet / 76 metres
RGT Magic Road: c1SGm0QDoq3O
Max elevation: 1074 ft
Min elevation: 250 ft
Total climbing: 236 ft
Total descent: -1064 ft
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