Lachlan Morton’s toughest challenge of the year: Three weeks off the bike

Australian star rounded out a season of cross-discipline racing at the Giro d'Italia last week, and now turns to sketching out plans to ride Cape Epic next year.

Photo: Getty Images

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He’s broken the Kokopelli Trail record.

He’s Everested twice in one week, setting the world’s fastest time the second time around.

He’s completed the Giro d’Italia.

And now EF Pro Cycling “alternative racing” star Lachlan Morton faces his toughest challenge for the year: Three weeks off the bike as he heads into the off-season.

“The hardest bit for me is I’ve got to take a few weeks off [after the Giro], which is the most difficult part of the year for me,” Morton told VeloNews in Italy last week. “So that’s gonna be the biggest challenge for me, the next three weeks of no riding.”

Morton, 28, raced through three weeks of the Giro not long after the latest in a long line of cross-discipline adventure rides for the year, the Badlands ultra event through the Pyrénées. Needless to say, he won, completing the 700-kilometer gravel ride in well under two days.

“I didn’t have like a very specific preparation like the majority of people who come to race the Giro,” Morton said in Bassano del Grappa ahead of stage 17. “I did an ultra race three weeks before the start, and I was pretty tired, to be honest. But I’m kind of warming my way into it. I actually feel like now I’m slowly getting better.”

“Maybe if there was a fourth week I could be ready to race properly,” he said with a laugh.

With COVID-19 still rampaging its way through Europe, Morton said his plans for next year are still up in the air, but is hoping to make a return to riding with new challenges in Africa.

“Fingers crossed I’m going to go to Kenya in January and get up to some mischief there, and then hopefully, go from there to Cape Epic. It would be an interesting start to the year to spend some time in Africa,” he said. “So fingers crossed.”

Wherever Morton starts his season with EF Pro Cycling next year, be that on the trails of Cape Epic or the tarmac of early-season road racing, he’ll just be happy to be in the saddle.

“For me, the best thing I can imagine involves riding most of the day,” he said. “It’s still the nicest thing I’ve found in life, and there’s a lot of different ways you can do it. This [Giro] is probably one extreme in that it’s very intense, and it’s very high-pressure, but I still enjoy this as much as I do being able to go out at home on my mountain bike and get lost in the mountains all day.

“It’s definitely a passion, and I’m just lucky I can call it my job.”

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