Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo) has described Lachlan Morton’s Alt Tour as “loco”, joking that he prefers the many comforts of a riding for a WorldTour team at the Tour de France such as a soft bed, food produced by a chef and daily massage, than teammate Morton’s 5000 kilometre ride around France in pursuit of the race.
The Australian will be on the road for 23 days, riding unsupported with the aim of beating the Tour de France peloton to Paris, despite riding an additional 2,400 kilometres of transfers between the stage routes
That's all while riding unsupported, and often sleeping in a tent, to help raise funds for World Bicycle Relief. EF Education First and clothing sponsor Rapha have donated 1,000 bikes and a donation of 120 Euro via the Alt tour website can buy a bike for a child.
“I prefer my Tour to his Alt Tour de France because I like to sleep in a nice bed every night, have full support, a massage, wake up easy in the morning and then race hard,” Urán told Cyclingnews tongue in cheek but full of admiration for his teammate.
“It’s loco what he’s doing but it’s cool too because for every kilometre he rides, we’re giving a bicycle to the kids. I hope other people will make donations too to pay back for Lachlan’s suffering. It’s super hard for him because he doesn't have any support. I really hope he can keep going all the way to Paris.”
Morton is known for mixing WorldTour racing with daring and often off-the-wall cycling adventures. His latest 'Alt Tour’ challenge is inspired by the early editions of the Tour de France.
Morton rode for ten hours on Sunday and has so far covered 550 kilometres. While his teammates were being pampered in a French hotel, he set up his tent near Lorient and had beans and a baguette for dinner. He will ride ahead of the peloton on stage 3 to Pontivy on Monday.
Urán will race the same 182-kilometre stage later on Monday after fighting to stay well placed in the overall classification.
He finished in the same time as Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and his other overall rivals on Saturday’s stage and then again on Sunday’s finish atop the Mûr-de-Bretagne.
He is just 26 seconds down on new race leader Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and in a group of riders 18 seconds down on Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and 13 seconds behind Pogačar.
Urán finished second overall at the recent Tour de Suisse, forcing EF Education-Nippo to adjust their Tour de France strategy to better back his overall ambitions.
The first stage was super hard and then the climb to the Mûr-de-Bretagne was hard too and a real fight for the GC riders,” he told Cyclingnews soon after the finish.
“The most important thing for me and my teammates is that we tried something. This time Sergio Higuita tried a move but the level at the Tour is super high and so he couldn’t get away. However it’s important to at least try something. I didn’t lose time and that’s important too.”
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