Lachlan Morton is hoping to build on a solid season with the Garmin-Transitions under 23 squad, Team Holowesko Partners, after a string of strong performances in 2010.
The 18-year-old Australian signed for the team after a stand-out performance in last year’s USA Junior Cycling Championships in California and won two stages and the overall at the Tour de l’ Abitibi this year. He also finished seventh in the Tour of Utah.
“This year went a lot better than I thought it would. I was just looking to learn and see what it was all about. It was my first year as a full time bike rider. At the start of the year I found my feet but it all came together later in the season. I found my form and I managed to get a few wins under my belt,” Morton told Cyclingnews.
Morton’s strongest performance came at the Tour of Utah, where despite being handicapped by age-related gear restrictions of 52x14, he rode to seventh place overall. It was an impressive display backed a field that included the likes of Levi Leipheimer and Francisco Mancebo.
“I think seventh overall in the tour of Utah was my best performance simply because of the calibre of the riders there,” Morton told Cyclingnews.
“I was still under 19 so next year I’ll be able to step it up again and become more competitive. Riding 52x14 as a maximum gear made things tough.”
Now back home in his native Australia Morton has taken a five week break from cycling, giving him time to reflect on his achievements and set his goals for the coming season, when he will once again base himself in Colorado and under the wing of Jonathan Vaughters.
“Lachlan has great physical talent,” Vaughters told Cyclingnews. “However, more importantly, psychologically, he has the traits of a very big champion.”
Next season, and without gear restrictions, Morton will once again target Utah as one of his biggest goals but will also travel to Europe and race in Belgium and Spain.
“I’ve got progression in mind for the next two to three years but this year I’ve got more ambition in mind going in compared to last year. I realised what I’m able to do if everything goes right, so I’ve a more ambitious racing calendar with a bit of racing in Europe. For me the goal is just to be consistently at the front of the races I’m in.”
“Towards the end of the year there are races like the Tour of Colorado and Utah, of course, that I’d like to do well in. It’s about going into races with an open mind.”