Lachlan Morton is already a stage ahead of the Tour de France peloton on his 'Alt Tour'

The Australian rider did the last few hundred kilometres in sandals and flat pedals after suffering from knee pain

Lachlan Morton riding 'The Alt Tour' on the 2021 Tour de France route
(Image credit: Rapha)

Lachlan Morton has already managed to get a stage ahead of the Tour de France 2021 peloton, all while riding flat pedals and sandals.

The EF Education-Nippo rider has become famous for riding these alternative routes,  one being the race between Land's End and John O'Groats in the UK. The ride he's doing now, supported by Rapha, is named 'The Alt Tour'.

Morton's plan is to ride the 2021 Tour de France route alone, while attempting to beat the Tour peloton to Paris. 

So far, Morton has ridden, at time of writing, 806 miles with a whopping 51 hours of riding as well as 42,822 feet or 13,052 metres in elevation gain. But he is nowhere near the end goal which is 3,424 miles, which is over 1000 more than the actual Tour route.

However, he has had some issues on the bike. Mainly with knee problems. In an Instagram post by EF Education-Nippo, the team said: "A sore knee made the 300-kilometre day a little harder, but riding in sandals on flat pedals seemed to help. His average speed was the same as past stages, and by day’s end he said his knee felt a lot better."

With the rider carrying on wearing sandals (Wednesday, June 30), as he continues to try and rid himself of the knee pains, but he may even keep the sandals as he seems to be enjoying them, saying: "The sandals are a hit, man! I’m really enjoying it."

This isn't just a ride about for the hell of it though, the Alt Tour is all about raising money for charity. Specifically the World Bicycle Relief. And he has already raised 1372 bikes for children in disadvantaged areas of the world, allowing them to have freedom, transport and hopefully bring joy too.

At the time of writing, Morton is halfway on stage six of the Tour, a full stage ahead of the peloton, this is after riding all the transfers as well, but the peloton has plenty of time to catch up, especially with the huge 600km ride from around Bordeaux to Paris set for the final couple of days.

Lachlan Morton Alt Tour map

Lachlan Morton's Alt Tour map

(Image credit: Rapha)

The idea is to, in a sense, look back to the original Tours where riders had to navigate themselves around the country, feed themselves and find places to sleep in places like fields or by rivers, which is what Morton is used to with his huge endurance rides that he has been doing over the past few years.

He was due to do this at the Giro d'Italia but ended up having to ride the real thing instead. So he turned his attention to the Tour.

If you'd like to follow Lachlan Morton's progress over the next couple of weeks, make sure to check out where you can see where he is on the GPS tracker app.

For more information about World Bicycle Relief and even donate to Morton's cause, make sure to click HERE

Meanwhile his EF team will be looking for time trial success on stage five of the Tour, with their TT specialist Stefan Bissegger. 

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.