Oooft, this is a big lump of a stage. Yes it overcooks the easterly bit by not heading north enough, but it throws you an eight mile climb straight out of the pen before setting up a cracking second half: in short, it may be labelled as climber but once you get to halfway, you can forget that tag. In terms of geography, the route follows the La Loire river, albeit that the road’s about twelve miles north west of the river, and heading in the opposite direction.
The rollout north of the A10 bends right around the left hand side (west) of the La Quintaine lake in the first mile, climbing as it does so. The climb continues to Auzouer en Touraine just before two miles where the route swaps the D46 for the D73 Auzouer en Touraine heading east. It then gives way labelwise to the Rue du 8 Mai as the road negotiates a left hander crossing the La Quintaine river at two miles.
As the route meanders its way east, trying to decide what direction to fix upon, it passes by junctions to La Maloire and La Fouraudiere on the left (north) before finally picking a north easterly route through L’Etang Neuf followed by La Crouriere either side of five miles. Past La Crouriere, the D73 curves left to Morand (six miles) then Saint Nicolas des Motels two miles later and it’s there, where the road hangs a right onto the D766 Rue de Touraine, that the stage achieves its highest elevation. Not surprisingly after such a long climb, the lowest elevation was back at the start.
The D766 takes a looping right/left/right detour after ten miles to cross the main A10 L’Aquitaine autoroute, and after that it continues on a lumpy descent to Herbault at thirteen miles where the road does a quick up/down before hanging a left and continuing the descent.
Crossing the A10 a second time, the route heads out into open country but continues the lumpy descent all the way way to Landes le Gaulois at seventeen miles where the road picks up and follows the La Cisse Landaise river after hanging a left/right combo into Le Champ Rouget. The two towns sit either side of the junction that brings the D68 east from Grivelle and the D133 west from Pray.
As the road carries on snaking its way north east and descending lumpily all the time, it finally crosses the La Cisse Landaise after eighteen miles before running past the Etang Gonvin lake on its left hand side a mile later: the airport at Blois Le Breuil sits opposite the lake on the left hand side of the road. After the airport, the route hangs a sharp right onto the D957 which swings around the town of La Chapelle Vendomoise in an anticlockwise direction. Halfway round the ring road, where the Rue de Cottereau crosses over the D957, lies the finish line on a lumpy flat gentle descent if there is such a thing.
Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres
Ascent: 627 feet / 191 metres
RGT Magic Road: KGqUa55oon0Y
Max elevation: 493 ft
Min elevation: 254 ft
Total climbing: 608 ft
Total descent: -520 ft
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