Lachlan Morton has announced, starting tomorrow (Saturday March 19), he will ride 1,063km from Munich to the Ukrainian border without stopping to raise money for GlobalGiving's Ukrainian Crisis Relief Fund.
Morton said hearing news of Russia's invasion of Ukraine while racing the Gran Camiño in Spain impacted him greatly. The Australian subsequently decided that attempting this ride would help mobilise the cycling community into supporting the European country.
Speaking of the decision, Morton said: "I’m not an expert in any of this, but this was the one way I could think of to try to create a small bit of help and relief.
"My idea is to highlight the fact that war is not a far-off problem. Conflicts are a bike ride away, all over the world. That’s the intention behind it, and to try and raise as much money as we can to help out people who have been displaced.”
"I hope that covering that distance on a bike, and interacting with people on the way, will help to cement the reality of it a bit more.”
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He continued, expressing the impact Russia's invasion further had on him was compounded by witnessing the effect it had on Ukrainian teammate Mark Padun.
“That made it hit closer to home, having a teammate who is directly impacted by it. I found it hard to focus on trying to get ready for a race when something so significant was happening in the world.
“I kept thinking, wow, I could actually do that in one ride. So that was my idea. I’m not an overly political person. I’m not an expert in any of this. I’m just trying to do the one thing I know how to do and engage the bike-riding community to help."
Mark Padun is supportive of Morton's ride, despite feeling a sense of helplessness these last few weeks.
“Honestly, I don’t know what people should do. I don’t know what I personally can do.
“It is difficult to fully concentrate because you are aware that a war is still happening in your country. What the people of Ukraine need is for the war to be stopped. But what Lachlan is doing is good. The more people who are speaking about this, the better. It is great that he is raising money for Ukrainian refugees, too.”
Morton's goal is to raise $50,000 for the fund, which helps Ukrainians who have had to flee the Russian invasion by providing shelter, food and clean water. GlobalGiving also offers health and psychological support, and access to education and economic assistance.
EF Education First, Cannondale and Rapha have all combined to donate $100,000 to the relief fund, which is already live on GlobalGiving's website.
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