There was still enough power to open the champagne. Tired and happy, Lachlan Morton stood barefoot at dawn on the Champs Elysees in Paris and, after his fine performance, rewarded himself with a great sip of the fine French liqueur. The professional cyclist was on an amazing ride destination at 5.30am. Master the Tour de France on his own. Five days faster than a peloton and more than 2,000 kilometers in the legs.
“This is an unimaginable feat. So unimaginably uncomfortable. But Lachy struggled in a way that few could do. Sleep well my friend. Chapo,” his team boss Jonathan Fouters tweeted. His team, EF Pro Cycling wrote: “Chapo, Lachlan. Thank you so much for taking us on this adventure.” Team boss Foggers joked at the start of Morton’s crazy ride: “The treatment obviously didn’t help.”
Morton was not nominated for the tour by his team. It wasn’t a surprise. The bike lover came from Australia anyway and led the Tour. The alternate round as he called it. I am always looking for the true spirit of racing. Not only did Morton cover the 21 stages, but he also managed the transfers between the start and finish locations on the bike.
In the end there were 5510 kilometers on the clock, the professionals who started just before him on June 26 in Brest reached 3414.4 kilometers. Morton climbed 65,500 meters, spent 220 hours in the saddle.
The whole world can watch it on social media. Watch how he fought the forces of nature. Watch how he was at the end of his rope and friends from all over the world accompanied him for a while and rebuild it. Watching him crawl into his tent which is barely larger than a dog’s house.
Outside in sandals
Morton stopped in cafes for lunch. His dinner mostly came from a can, heated with a small camping stove several hundred miles later at the end of the day. The 29-year-old walked a large part of the distance in sandals. And even those were cut so that they left as few stress marks as possible. Morton combined his unique ride with a good cause and by Tuesday noon he had collected more than €400,000 in donations for the “World Bicycle Relief Organisation”, which donates bikes to people in developing countries.
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Morton is nothing but an ordinary professional cyclist. He mostly wears a mustache, tattoos adorn his body, and loves to enjoy life. Through his cycling adventure, he wanted not only to collect donations, but also to follow the true spirit of the tour. One from 1903, when participants had to travel up to 470 kilometers a day, drove through the nights and slept in the fields.
“That era was exciting. At the time, the Tour Director wanted only one rider to reach the finish line,” Morton said before the start. “I know it’s a big task. I’m not even sure it’s possible.” That is exactly what I proved on this sweet morning in Paris.
Australian professional cyclist Lachlan Morton successfully completed his bench on Tuesday morning. The Australian arrived in Paris around 5:30 am and traveled 5,510 kilometers and 65,500 meters in altitude. And all that alone. Morton was not nominated for the Tour by his EF Pro cycling team and took off to Paris shortly after the peloton. (dpa)