|Lousã||Alter do Chão||Mountain||172km||3.173m||Relva|
The highlight of the 4th stage is the cross of Lousã Mountain (Serra da Lousã).
Serra da Lousã is home to red deer, wild boar and roe deer that peek through the cork oaks, chestnut trees, oaks and, of course, pines… lots of pines!! The Serra da Lousã, together with the Serra da Estrela and the Açor Mountain (stage 2 and 3) , form the most imposing of Portugal’s mountain ranges: the Central Cordillera… and at the top of the climb of the day, you’ll know you crossed it, and that was just amazing, fabulous and unmatchable.
After the first 20 km you have already climbed about 1.000m through an indescribable mountain road. On this mountain you’ll find a sense of tranquillity that you probably never even dreamt existed. The sinuous descent is something to hold onto your memories. The turns, the belvederes, the scenery, the peaceful calm and tranquility all around will take you straight to one of your best cycling dreams.
Crossing some small villages the route will take you to the valley and to cross the Zezere River, leaving the mountains behind. From here, and until you reach the Tagus River (the biggest and most important river of Portugal) the route will take through hundreds of ups and downs but on a hilly part of our country.
Soon you get to the 6D “refueling stand” of the stage4 in Relva village, where you can collect your 6D bars and your Water Bottle. 80 km so far, 92,5 km to go…
Through these forgotten roads, you will pass the geographical centre of Portugal in Vila de Rei. This means that it is in the “exact” centre of our country from North to South and the East to the West. The open views throughout the route allow you to appreciate the wild nature with its green and yellow tinged trees all around this desert territory… and enjoy the desert country roads.
Just a few km further, the route leads you to the flatlands of Portugal, crossing the Tagus River in the village of Belver. Now, as you leave the mountains behind, the landscape is changing… nothing too distinctive, just different, much different.
The plains of Alentejo transmit a somewhat indescribable feeling, particularly when your ride on these never-ending roads is free of traffic.
There are just a few small villages scattered around, as the route crosses Monte da Pedra, with its typical white houses, as well as Crato… some of the very traditional villages of Alentejo.
Swiftly, you will find yourself reaching the Vila Galé Hotel in Alter do Chão, where you will find the necessary peace of mind to relax and recover for the longest day of the race, awaiting you just the next morning.
STAGE MAPPING - TRACK