By Ryan Dabbs published
Rapha and EF Education-Nippo have released an insightful documentary on YouTube detailing Lachlan Morton's epic 2021 Tour de France challenge, where the Australian completed the route five days quicker than the peloton.
He also completed the route, transfers included, unsupported in aid of World Bicycle Relief, raising around £500,000.
The video showcases the course that Morton had to attack by himself, as he climbs some of the country's toughest mountains in both the Alps and the Pyrenees. Most spectacularly of all though, is the journey that the 29-year-old managed by simply using sandals and platform pedals, after he suffered unbearable knee pain because of the new cleats he had installed on his shoes.
"I'm not a superhuman," Morton said. "I think it's important to show that human element in sport, particularly in cycling, because you don't see it. You see the four hours of guys doing battle on the road, and the rest of what goes on is somewhat of a mystery."
Morton's less than ideal nutrition while riding the course is also captured, with the Australian eating at roadside cafés and shops instead of the usual high quality meals afforded to the Tour riders.
Unlike the Tour riders, Morton slept in a tent throughout the duration of his 18-day challenge, and had to carry all of this extra gear throughout his ride too - adding a heap of unwanted weight to make his Alt Tour that little bit tougher.
What is most impressive though is witnessing Morton's unwavering positivity throughout the ride, as he attempted to inspire others to get on their bikes. 5,510 kilometres after leaving Brittany on the same day as the Tour de France peloton, Morton's arrival in Paris was met with a bottle of champagne, rather than the yellow jersey.
However, the highs and lows of the gruelling task is available for all to see in the brilliant video, providing a glimpse into just how difficult the Tour is - albeit in much more testing circumstances.
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