The Clash of Nations brings the World Tour to India for a tough race that finishes in the southern Himalayas. However, before the field reaches the world’s highest mountain range, they will have to traverse a significant chunk of Northern India. The battle erupts in Moradabad, a city of almost a million that’s responsible for 85% of the country’s metalware exports.
Due north-east, through Tanda, Bazpur, all the way to Kaladhungi, the road slowly but surely starts to rise as the mighty peaks of the Himalaya emerge in the distance. At the Jim Corbett Museum, the peloton takes a sharp left turn and starts the absolutely brutal climb towards Nainital. This undulating road never reaches a steep gradient, but 30 kilometers and an altitude gain of almost 1500 meters will have the peloton yearning for a downhill section.
In Nainital, built around the famous Nainital Lake, the riders take a left turn onto the local lap of 37 kilometers which will have to be completed three times. While the downhill section is relatively easy, the uphill section of the lap is not. Especially the 500 meters in the Devidhura section, with maximum gradients of up to 22% ensures that only the best climbers will have a chance of victory. The finish line is drawn on Mall Road, overseeing Nainital Lake. Quite a sight for the spectators, but probably not on the minds of the cyclists who make it to the finish.
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