You may recall that I’ve been saying for a while now that the straight line end to end projection beyond the end of the stage has been missing Paris by as much as fifty miles. Well here’s the stage that puts the record straight. The right turn in Tours that sets a north easterly course does the job perfectly and all that has to happen now is for the remaining seven stages to keep heading in the same direction. Stage 793 is the strangest of descenders and I can guarantee that it won’t ride like one. From three miles through to the finish, the road is lumpy and uphill, sticking over three hundred feet on the elevation profile. Yet the stage is a descender. All will be revealed shortly.
The rollout is lumpy flat with a hint of downhill for three miles around the eastern suburbs of Chambray les Tours to the Le Cher river where the road will feel like it’s fallen through the floor to cross the water. In a nutshell, that’s why the stage is labelled a descender. Straight after the river, past the Rochepinard district of town, the route hangs a right onto the Avenue Jacques Duclos and it’s that turn that helps to set the course for what follows after.
By five miles, the route has taken a left off the Avenue Jacques Duclos onto the Rue du Columbier which tacks east with the Boire du Bois de Plante lake on its right hand side. All remains calm and tranquil through the left hander at Les Maisons Brulees at seven miles followed by the right hander at La Ville aux Dames a mile later, and that carries on to the left hand turn at a roundabout off the Avenue Jeanne d’Arc onto the D142 heading north at eight miles. Two things happen at the roundabout: firstly the road climbs in order to navigate the next roundabout, then secondly, having navigated the roundabout, the road crosses the La Loire river before descending back down with a couple of hairpin turns into the district of La Vallee Chartier. There, the route hangs a right onto the D46 Route de Chateau-Renault before turning left a mile later at Le Petit Vouvray.
As the last major change of direction, it sets the tone for the remainder of the stage because once the road has emerged from the left hand bend around the west fringe of Vernou sur Brenne, it runs north east for the last nine miles. And it climbs the whole way: on a downhill stage.
The road crosses the La Brenne river at thirteen miles before following the river (against the direction of flow) all the way to Chancay at fifteen miles where, after a short flat section that takes in Les Maisons Rouges and La Massotterie, the road rises again past the Chateau de la Cote (and the lake opposite it). From that point on, the gradient increases ever so slowly as the road passes through Reugny (seventeen miles), Neuille le Lierre (nineteen miles), over the main A10 L’Aquitine autoroute (twenty miles) and past the junction to La Malaudiere on the left at twenty one miles.
From the junction, there’s a short descent to cross the La Brenne river then the end of the stage is immediately after the river where the D46 meets Saint Rigomet road coming in from the right.
Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres
Ascent: 377 feet / 115 metres
RGT Magic Road: zRAqSB1DhxvU
Max elevation: 323 ft
Min elevation: 178 ft
Total climbing: 355 ft
Total descent: -421 ft