Australian Lachlan Morton (EF Education First) is in the lead of a 2,000km enduro event, the 'GBDURO', a multi-day, self-supported UK bikepacking event from Land's End to John O'Groats. The event kicked off on Saturday, June 22, with Morton taking the early lead in the first leg, one of four timed 'stages', covering the 630km and 10,900m of climbing to Wales in 32 hours, 10 minutes, more than seven hours faster than his nearest competitor.
The format of the GBDURO differs from many long-distance events such as Race Across America in that the clock is stopped when riders reach the checkpoints, allowing them to sleep before beginning the next leg. Riders must average 200km per day to be declared finishers.
Morton reached the first checkpoint on Sunday evening, then covered the next leg of 470km with 8,500m of climbing to pass the halfway point in a total of 63 hours 32 minutes of riding time and four elapsed days on Tuesday afternoon. There are two more legs, 480km and 7,100m of climbing into Scotland and the final 380km leg with 4,200m climbed to John O'Groats.
Morton is no stranger to long-distance bicycle travel, having taken a 2,500km adventure across the Australian outback with his brother Angus after deciding the WorldTour was not for him following the 2013 season. Video from the trip was made into a short film called 'Thereabouts'. He then returned to racing with Jelly Belly in 2014, but continued his adventures, making 'Thereabouts II' on a trip from Boulder, Colorado, to Moab, Utah, in 2015, then another in 2016 in Colombia.
Morton returned to the WorldTour with Dimension Data in 2017, then signed with EF Education First this season, but he and his brother Gus has continued to film adventures, putting out 'Outskirts I' from the Balkans, 'Outskirts II' on the Trans-Labrador Highway, and 'Route 66', a 4,000km journey from Chicago to Los Angeles on the iconic highway.
The GBDURO is the latest adventure, and is part of EF Education First's 'alternative' racing calendar that also included Dirty Kanza, which Morton raced with teammates Alex Howes and Taylor Phinney, and fellow WorldTour riders Peter Stetina and Kiel Reijnen (Trek-Segafredo).