Lachlan Morton (EF Education First) has won the GBDuro, a 2,000km unassisted endurance race from Land’s End to John O’Groats, finishing in around 158 hours.
The format of the race involves four timed ‘stages’, with the clock only stopping when riders reach checkpoints, allowing them to sleep with the time stopped before starting the next leg.
In order to successfully finish the race participants must complete an average of 200km a day. The first leg was a 630km stage to Wales from Cornwall, featuring 10,900m of climbing. Morton completed it in 32 hours and 10 minutes, seven hours faster than the next quickest rider.
After setting off at 8am on Saturday June 22, Morton reached the Welsh checkpoint on Sunday evening, setting off for the second leg the next morning covering a further 470km and 8,500m of climbing to reach the halfway point in 63 hours 32 minutes by Tuesday afternoon.
The third leg brought the Australian into Scotland, a 480km route with 7,100m of climbing before the final 380km stint to John O’Groats that featured 4,200m of climbing.
Morton’s GBDuro victory is the latest exploit of EF Education’s “alternative” racing calendar, that recently saw Morton and team-mates Taylor Phinney take part in Dirty Kanza, a 200-mile gravel race with a cult status in the US.
Fans have been “dot-watching” competitor’s progress on a live-tracker map, which currently shows Andy Deacon and Mark Tillett in second and third place who are around 500km from the finish and closing in on the third of four checkpoints.
The map shows someone called Media Harry in between Deacon and Morton, who is not a participant but is part of Rapha’s video team and filming the next episode of EF Gone Racing, a video series documenting EF Education First’s alternative racing calendar.
The first episode followed the team’s progress at Dirty Kanza, which was won by Colin Strickland after a 150km solo breakaway, becoming the first rider to finish the race in under 10 hours. The Texan beat two WorldTour riders, with Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) finishing second and Alex Howes (EF Education First) coming third.