Tour de Lachlan: Morton arrives in Paris at 5:30 a.m.


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Early this morning, Lachlan Morton (EF Education-Nippo) completed his solo French odyssey, arriving in Paris at 5.30am after driving 19 hours straight to cover 579km / 360mi.

Barely 18 days ago, Morton left Brittany for the entire Tour de France plus transfers. The goal of his Alt Tour was to beat the Tour de France peloton in Paris, generating publicity and fundraising for World Bicycle Relief along the way.

Tour riders, of course, slept in hotels, ate meals prepared by the chef, and made transfers in vehicles. Morton mostly camped and cooked his own food on a small one-burner stove. And he cycled each of the 5,500 kilometers, often in sandals.

Today, the Tour de France takes part in the 16th stage, five days before its arrival in Paris.

Morton celebrates his arrival in Paris. Note the shoes. Photo: Rapha

The idea for the Alt Tour came from Morton’s team sponsor Rapha, who is making a video about the effort.

World Bicycle Relief’s fundraiser was successful, as the effort raised over half a million dollars for the charity which provides bicycles and support to communities in need.

The Tour de France debut was not as well supported as it is today, with luxury team buses, trainers and racing radios. Rapha and EF Education-Nippo said the Alt Tour was inspired by the original Tour in 1903, a six-stage race that covered 2,428 km / 1,509 mi. The stages were massive, averaging over 250 miles.

Morton had a better bike than those ridden over 100 years ago, but he still had no outside help, or even a bunch of other riders. He averaged nearly 300 km / 186 km per day.

For his final push, Morton drove through the night to cover 579km / 360mi.

“Everyone at World Bicycle Relief has been blown away by Lachlan’s gigantic effort on our behalf,” said Allison Dufosee, CEO of World Bicycle Relief UK. “We have many fundraisers who take on challenges to raise funds for us, for which we are extremely grateful. When considering a challenge, you usually think about the distance and how long it will take. However, the thousands of bike recipients that Lachlan has collected through incredible global generosity have no choice as to the time or distance of their challenge. “

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