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Tour d’Afrique Enters Ethiopia

February 11, 2006 – South African John Lofty-Eaton gets his first stage win as the Tour enters Ethiopia. One more stage before the rider’s rest in Gonder as they now climb into the highlands and edge closer to the infamous Blue Nile Gorge stage. Last year’s top Canadian racer, David Houghton had this to say about the Gorge — “It’s known as the toughest day on the entire Tour d’Afrique. And this week we found out why. The earth seemed to drop away and the other side of the gorge was just a faint, misty ridge. The ride down is 19K long, and descends 1,300 meters. The ride up is 21K long, and ascends nearly 1,400 meters. The heat was in the mid-40s and the road was loose, bumpy gravel that was infuriatingly unpredictable. With the distance we climbed in the morning to get to the gorge, and the ascent, we climbed 2,150 meters. To put that in perspective, we climbed over 2K vertically.”

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