As the Tour de France peloton takes on their second Alpine test of the race on Sunday's stage 9 in, Lachlan Morton, nearing the halfway point of his Alt Tour, will be tackling a different mountain altogether.
The Australian, who like the peloton is nine days into his effort, is set to pass the halfway mark of his 5,510-kilometre ride and will climb Mont Ventoux twice as he takes on stage 11 of the real Tour.
On Saturday, Morton rode the 190-kilometre stage 10 from Albertville to Valence – which the peloton will ride on Tuesday – and, having now completed the 121-kilometre transfer to Sorgues, he's partway through stage 11 to Malaucène which will take in the ascents of Ventoux from Sault and Bedoin.
Morton has experience on the climb, having raced the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge both in 2019 and this year, where he finished 55th. He said that he's not particularly looking forward to taking on the climb loaded down with bikepacking gear.
"It's a very difficult climb and I've already climbed it twice this year in one day, so the thought of doing it again, not on a race bike, and in warm weather, sucks."
The EF Education-Nippo rider now has over 2,600 kilometres under his belt, just over 48 per cent of his total ride. Since setting off in Brest last week, he has spent almost all of his waking time on the bike – at an average of 25.19kph – with four days and nine hours spent moving and three days and six hours stopped.
After finishing stage 11 in Malaucène, Morton will have 10 stages left to go, including the Pyrenean mountain stages to Andorra, the Col du Portet, and Luz-Ardiden, and will also face an arduous 564-kilometre 'transfer' ride from Saint-Émilion near Bordeaux to Chatou, outside of Paris.
KM 2407 - Lachlan bid farewell to the Alps today and started his ride south. The sun and the heat await, which will be welcome after a week of sleeping in a wet sleeping bag. pic.twitter.com/dTG5KFKhxlJuly 3, 2021
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