Lachlan Morton (EF Education-Nippo) has reached Andorra and continued to climb into the Pyrenees as he races the Tour de France peloton during his Alt Tour charity ride. Support from teammate Jimmy Whelan, fellow Australian Rohan Dennis and his wife Rachel lifted his morale after riding for almost 4000km in 160 hours in the saddle.
The Australian, who is ‘racing’ the Tour de France to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief, started his challenge in Brest and is riding the entire Tour de France race route, including the transfers between stages, alone and unsupported. He plans to ride for a total of 5,500km in just 23 days.
He has ridden for over 160 hours so far and is several days ahead of the Tour de France so he has a big enough advantage to beat the peloton to Paris. The total amount raised for World Bicycle Relief so far is over £246,000.
Click here to see where Morton is now and to donate to World Bicycle Relief.
“I’m hoping to feel a bit better today and push on the way I want, but you know as they say there will be days like this. We hope tomorrow is better, and here’s tomorrow so let’s see what happens,” Lachlan said after a difficult day in the mountains after riding across the south of France.
“My toes are very cold but the legs are good and I’m sure once this sun pops its head out, I’ll be very happy.”
As Morton embarked on one his toughest days of climbing to Andorra, he was greeted with the warm support of friends and family.
EF Education-Nippo teammate Jimmy Whelan, rode with him and Rohan Dennis came by from his home in Andorra to offer home-made banana bread. There was also a quick pit stop for lunch with his wife Rachel who reassured him the large bar of soap he had been carrying was worth the additional weight.
“It’s just nice to see some familiar faces,” Morton said, revealing the secret problems of endurance riding.
“If I’m honest, I was worried about seeing Rachel half way through something like this, because sometimes you just let your guard down a bit, let yourself think about the finish and what it’s like at home, and it just breaks that mentality you had. But I’m really glad I got to see her...she said I didn’t stink! Which was a huge relief.”
“If you’ve ever smelt someone doing an ultra-race, they usually stink pretty bad. Well I do anyway, I don’t want to speak for everyone. Normally, I smell really horrible. It’s like a very specific smell. Somewhere between a dead animal and feet. A wet warm smell. There'll be a day when you catch a little bit of tailwind and you’re like “what is that smell?” Oh, it’s me.”
On his way out of Andorra, Morton stopped at a bike shop and upgraded the supermarket pedals he bought on day 3 for some mountain bike pedals, which turned out to be a game changer. He has swapped his road shoes for better comfort after suffering with blisters.
Mortoni is due to finish stage 16 and head away from the Pyrenees in the direction of Toulouse for the transfer before looping back around in Muret and down into Stage 17.
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