Tour de France

Tour de Lachlan: Morton notches 13,200ft on day 6 — in sandals

Morton is a day ahead of the peloton, with 18,000ft of climbing on tap today.

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EF Education-Nippo rider Lachlan Morton is on day seven of his Alt Tour, an immense solo bikepacking challenge to ride the entire Tour de France course plus the transfers that his teammates do on the team bus. Yesterday, he spent 11 hours on the bike, and climbed 4,023m/13,198ft. He did it in sandals, not cycling shoes.

His goal is to complete a whopping 5,500km over 23 days. The course he has laid out includes 65,000m/213,254ft of climbing.

In addition to generating publicity for his team and sponsor Rapha, Morton is raising money for World Bicycle Relief. As of today, the effort has netted $246,227, according to Rapha.

No peloton to draft, no mechanics to assist, no team bus to ride, and no hotels guaranteed. Welcome to the Alt Tour. Photo: Rapha

Yesterday, Morton set out to finish stage 7, the longest of this year’s Tour de France at 250km, plus get partway to the start of stage 8. Despite all the climbing and two punctures, he still averaged 25kph over his 11 hours on the bike.

“It’s very wet,” Morton said before his start yesterday. “I actually had a good night’s sleep, believe it or not. I’ve got to pack everything down and keep going. No shower last night, feel a little rough. I’ll make a quick coffee and get going.”

Morton recently switched from road shoes to sandals, in an effort to provide relief to a hurting knee. While the knee was helped, the feet were not. Now he has some blisters to contend with.

Yes, sandals. Photo: Rapha

Last night he ended up at a campsite with a shower, a welcome find. Today the sun is out and Morton is plowing ahead into the mountains of stage 8, with the goal of riding 230km and climbing 5,500m/18,000ft.

For the record, the Tour de France is racing stage 7 today. So Morton is well ahead of the peloton, in spite of pedaling the transfers and riding the stages without the draft of a peloton.

Photo: Rapha