distance: 123Km total vertical gain: 2525m
Stage 3 of the Tour pans out to be possibly the most charming in all of the Tour of Crete visiting more than 40 scenic villages. Specifically it entails what we aptly call “Topolianos Gyros” (≈ around Topolia). A route of 124 kilometers in the westernmost of Crete that conveniently begins and ends at the same hotel. This stage is named after the gorgeous and history-ridden gateway village Topolia and its stunning gorge right by the very side of the road which apart from the natural beauty it has to offer, also boasts a pass trough a rocky tunnel that will leave you impressed.
The initial 11 km up to Kolymvari serve as a good warmup as the peloton rides across the northern seaside roadway of Crete. From there it meets the first climb of the day that may start off easy but gets steeper as it reaches the total distance of 17 km at an altitude of 300 m in Trialonia village. After a sharp 5km descent down to the shores of Tyflos river, begins a grade 2, 16 km climb with steep gradients. This may be the hardest segment of the stage but possibly the prettiest as well. The pleasing villages Topolia and Koutsomatados with all they have to offer will gladly sweeten the deal for you until Feedzone 1 in Kefali village at the 53 km mark is reached.
Going onwards and riding along the westernmost roads of Crete, the peloton will have a chance to gaze upon world-renowned beaches Elafonissos and Falassarna on their left. This road at the 74 km mark, leads up to a tough grade 3 climb lasting for 5 km that may get easier to overcome with the common rearwind of the area. A quick descent later and after a total of 94,5 km, the riders reach the town of Kastelli and Feedzone 2 inside the scenic town square. What’s left is just a moderate climb before looping back to Kolymvari, other than which it’s mostly flat seaside riding back to our headquarters in Platanias.