EF Education-EasyPost rider Lachlan Morton will attempt to break the around the world record at some point in the next few years, his team manager Jonathan Vaughters has revealed.
The current world record is 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes, held since 2017 by long-distance cyclist Mark Beaumont.
Speaking exclusively to Cycling Weekly, Vaughters said that Morton had initially hoped to undertake the challenge in 2023, but has had to delay his plans.
“What we wanted to do was to try the around the world record [in the second half of 2023], but the sticking point on that right now is Russia,” Vaughters said.
“We don’t think that’s going to be possible next year, so we’re trying to come up with a plan B right now,” he added. “What that is, we’re not sure yet.”
When asked if Morton was eager to try and break the record, Vaughters said: “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yes. Very keen. It’s just that I don’t think it’s going to happen in 2023.”
In a text exchange with Cycling Weekly, Morton confirmed that he has spoken about the challenge with his team, but there is "nothing concrete" at the moment.
To constitute an official attempt, the 30-year-old will have to ride a distance of 29,000km (18,000 miles) continuously in one direction. Brit Beaumont rode an average of 240 miles a day and later described his trip as “the longest two and a half months of my life”.
Morton began shifting his focus to off-road events in 2019, when he took on Unbound Gravel, Leadville 100, GBDuro and the Three Peaks Cyclocross race.
This season, the EF Education-EasyPost rider competed in just one road race, the four-day Gran Camiño held in the northern Spanish region of Galicia. According to Vaughters, the Australian is unlikely to return to the road in 2023.
“He won’t be doing any road races, really,” Vaughters said. “In the early part of the year he wants to get away from doing real ultra events and kind of focus on trying to win in gravel.
“He has lost a lot of his explosive power from doing these massive 4,000km events. So he’s training a little bit more in an explosive manner.”
Last month, Morton joined a host of WorldTour riders including Peter Sagan and Mathieu van der Poel on the startline at the inaugural UCI Gravel World Championships. The Australian finished 18th on the day, six and half minutes down on the winner, Alpecin Deceuninck’s Gianni Vermeersch.
Speaking last November about his alternative race calendar, Morton said: “At these races, you’re relying on yourself and you don’t really know what kind of a challenge you’re going to come up against. That’s a cool feeling to have. That’s what attracts me to these kinds of adventures."
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