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Morton rides length of Britain in less than a week to win GBDURO

EF Education First's Lachlan Morton ahead of stage 5 of the 2019 Tour of California

EF Education First's Lachlan Morton ahead of stage 5 of the 2019 Tour of California (Image credit: Getty Images)

Lachlan Morton (EF Education First) completed the GB Duro event on Friday, reaching John O'Groats as the first finisher after riding the length of Great Britain in 111 hours, 44 minutes. 

The multi-day, self-supported bikepacking event ran from Land's End in the very south west of England all the way up to John O'Groats at the north eastern tip of Scotland, over 2,000 kilometres of mixed terrain. 

Morton was riding as part of EF Education First's 'alternative' race programme, which also saw him ride the Dirty Kanza gravel race in the USA with Alex Howes and Taylor Phinney. 

The GB Duro was split into four timed 'stages', and Morton led from the get-go on Saturday. He covered the first stage, 630km up into Wales with 10,900m of climbing, in 32 hours, more than seven hours faster than his nearest competitor. On Tuesday he reached the half-way point after the 470km second stage, with 8,500 metres of climbing, in a cumulative riding time of 63 hours, 32 minutes. 

Stage 3 took him into Scotland, and he took 30 hours, 15 minutes to complete the 480km route, with 7,100 metres of climbing. On Friday evening he completed the shorter final leg - 380km, with 4,200 metres of climbing, up to John O'Groats. At the time of writing, no one else has finished. 

Morton's riding time was 111 hours, 44 minutes, and he slept for around 45 hours across the six-and-a-half days. 

"That was unimaginably hard. I never realized that I had never done anything hard in my life before this," Morton said.

"It was the most incredible experience in my life, so beyond anything I have ever done before."

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 have 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.

"It’s about pushing the envelope to where your boundaries are," Morton said after the GB Duro. "Something like this, you’re going to find them. It’s all about how you deal with them, and hopefully how that helps you grow out of it."