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 alttour.ef.com 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. 

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Tim Bonville-Ginn is 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.


Bonville-Ginn started working in cycling journalism while still at school and university for a voluntary site based on Twitter before also doing slots for Eurosport's online web team and has been on location at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain, UCI World Championships and various track events. He then joined the Cycling Weekly team in late February of 2020.


When not writing stories for the site, Bonville-Ginn doesn't really switch off his cycling side as he watches every race that is televised as well as being a rider himself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager.


He rides a Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on his local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being his preferred terrain.