In July, Lachlan Morton undertook the biggest challenge of his life – he aimed to ride the entire route of the 2021 Tour de France, plus all the transfers, and beat the peloton to Paris. Today, Rapha and EF Education-Nippo released a full-length film detailing his adventure.
The Australian endured physical pain and exhaustion, climbing Mont Ventoux twice, among other challenges, to finish days ahead of the race. He completed 5,510 kilometres and over 65,000 metres of elevation gain in 18 days, raising close to £500,000 for World Bicycle Relief in the process.
“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.”
The film shows Morton mixing with Tour de France fans as he traverses the course and being turned away when attempting to cross stage finishes. He makes a terrible mistake by installing new cleats on his shoes before setting off, only to have one get out of adjustment and cause lasting knee pain that he solved by buying platform pedals and sandals.
Morton’s meals are taken at roadside cafés and shops where he mixes chocolate milk, beer and Coca-Cola. He sleeps in campgrounds, carries all his clothing and gear in bags on his bike, with his company including the workers installing the course arrows ahead of the race and his film crew.
Watch the film above for a glimpse inside Morton’s mammoth effort.