Lachlan Morton has his sights set on next month’s Tour of Utah, after enjoying a successful appearance at Canada’s Tour de l'Abitibi last week. The Port Macquarie rider claimed a time trial and solo stage victory at the junior race on his way to winning the overall title.
“It was a really nice win for me,” Morton told Cyclingnews. “I knew I had good form coming into the tour and I was confident in my time trial after beating Lawson Craddock a couple of weeks ago, who is effectively the benchmark for junior time triallers.
“It was a crazy tour, being so flat and with everyone so motivated there were a lot of crashes,” he added. “So I kept out of trouble the first few days and then took the lead in the tough time trial, which started underground in a mine. From there the team did an awesome job, helping me defend the lead until the end.”
The Canadian victories are the biggest wins of Morton’s career to date. He joined Under 23 squad Team Holowesko Partners this season after being spotted by Jonathan Vaughters at last year’s USA Junior Cycling Championships in California.
Morton noted his motivation to win in Canada, a trend he hopes to continue at August’s Tour of Utah. “It was nice to get road victory, holding off the bunch for 15km,” he said. “Winning in the leader’s jersey is something special.
“I also had huge motivation to pull off the victory here to send a leader’s jersey home to my grandpa who is having a tough time at home in Australia. Maybe a little frustration at not being able to contest the worlds helped too,” he said. “From here I hope to continue my form into Utah.”
The six stage Tour of Utah runs from August 17-22, covering some 525 kilometres. The teams taking part, which include BMC Racing Team, Trek-Livestrong, Bissell, UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis and Fly V Australia, will climb some 26,500 feet throughout the Tour.