The Alt Tour
Lachlan Morton beats the Tour to Paris.
Lachlan Morton is going back in time in search of the original Tour spirit. He’ll ride every kilometer of the race — plus the distances between race starts and finishes — solo. He’ll stop at cafés for his food, and sleep under the stars at night. And he’ll do it all to raise money for World Bicycle Relief. Follow along as he races the peloton to Paris.
Vertical climbed to date
Lachy’s done it!
18 days. 5,510-kilometers. 65,500-meters of elevation gain. 220-hours of riding.
This morning at 05:30, he finished up his Alt Tour in Paris, riding the laps of the Champs-Élysées in the dawn this morning. As of today, we’ve raised £359,501 for the World Bicycle Relief, explored the far corners of France, and taken heart from all the support on the roads. Thank you for being part of his journey. There’s more to come.
Chapeau, Lachlan. Thank you for taking us on the adventure with you.
Châteaudun is a commune in the Eure-et-Loir department in northern France. Its château is known for being the first on the road to Loire Valley, from Paris.
Lachlan is flying through this last transfer. He is currently 270-kilometers from the finish in Paris. At this pace, he should be done between 5 and 6am tomorrow morning! The road to Paris is mostly flat and he only has 500 more meters of climbing between him and the French capital so his progress should be pretty swift.
Gençay is a commune in the Vienne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France.
After a long day in the headwind, and staring at his longest transfer yet, 576 kilometers in one go to Paris, there was a surprise awaiting Lachlan as he arrived at his campsite in the evening: his father, David, had flown out to meet his son and offer some much needed moral support. Lachlan had no idea his dad had planned it, and the emotions were obvious with not a dry eye to be seen.
This morning, Lachlan began the final and longest stage to reach the French capital. He intends to ride straight through the night tonight and to arrive in to Paris on Tuesday morning. In the final push in his quest to find the original Tour spirit, Lachlan is throwing it back to the Tours of old where the stages were long, really long.
Angoulême is a town located on a plateau overlooking a meander of the river Charente, the city is nicknamed the "balcony of the southwest.”
Lachlan finished stage 20 of the Tour and has begun the transfer to stage 21. At the Tour, stage 20 traditionally marks the end of the “official” stages as stage 21 is largely viewed as a procession for the General Classification riders and as the “sprinters’ world championship” for the fast men. But for Lachlan, stage 20 marks the beginning of the longest stage of them all, a 560-kilometer transfer to Paris.
The Tour Team made it to their hotel in Andorra and will enjoy a well deserved rest day in the mountains. The team has raced brilliantly and are in great position heading into the last week of the Tour. Rigo is sitting in second overall and the team is sitting in second in the teams classification. But they are keeping an eye on Lachlan and cheering him on from afar.
“What Lachlan is doing is crazy! Can’t believe he’s soon there.” - Neilson Powless
"Pau has the world's most beautiful view of the earth just as Naples has the most beautiful view of the sea." Pau is a commune overlooking the Pyrenees, and capital of the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques in France.
“Right, off to Paris. It’s all downhill from here!” - Lachlan Morton
Today, Lachlan rode up the last ‘Col’ of this year’s Tour de France. He’s ridden up 60,000-meters of climbs and has tackled some of France’s toughest mountains.
The Pyrenees have undoubtedly been the hardest segment of the Alt Tour. The long grinding climbs compounded on weeks of fatigue have made for some long days in the saddle. But Lachlan is on the last push to Paris now and we bet you he is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Lourdes is a small market town lying in the foothills of the Pyrenees.Prior to the mid-19th century, the town was best known for the Château fort de Lourdes, a fortified castle that rises up from a rocky escarpment at its center.
Lachlan is on his way to Pau to start the last mountain stage of the 2021 Tour – a stage that takes on two giants of the Pyrenees: the Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden.
The Col du Tourmalet has been feared since the very first time it was used in the 1910 Tour. When Tour de France mastermind Henri Desgrange announced that the Tour would venture into the Pyrenees and take on the Col du Tourmalet, 26 of the 136 riders who had signed up for the race removed themselves from the start list.
On the day of the infamous stage, the riders faced a 326-km slog over the Col de Peyresourde, Col d’Aspin, Col du Tourmalet, and the Col d’Aubisque. On dirt roads, riding single-speed bikes, they would have to suffer through more than 6,000-meters of climbing.
The winner of the stage, Octave Lapize was forced to cross the summit on foot and made his feelings about the organizers adding the climb to the route very clear. “Vous êtes des assassins! Oui, des assassins!” (“You are assassins! Yes, assassins!”) he shouted, before declaring that he was going to quit right there on the spot. He kept on going however, and won the stage that evening in Bayonne and went on to win the Tour that year.
Today, 111 years later, Lachlan is taking on the climb by himself and will pay homage to Octave Lapize’s memorial at the top of the climb.
Col du Portet
Col du Portet is a mountain pass that tops out at 2,225m (7,300ft). At the foot of the mountain sits Saint-Lary, a small mountain village and one of the most important ski resorts in the Pyrenees.
A 350-kilometers ride which includes over 5000-meters of elevation gain would be unthinkable for most bike riders. Even most professional riders would probably say that Milano-Sanremo, a bike race that takes place in the spring and is usually the longest bike race of the year, is their longest ever bike ride and even that ride “only” boasts 4,000-meters of elevation gain.
However, today, after two weeks of riding 300-kilometer days, after 4,000-kilometers of riding and 50,000m of climbing, Lachlan did just that. He rode 350-kilometers and climbed over 5,000-meters. He had to dig deep to get there. Maybe he was reinvigorated by yesterday’s reunion with family and friends. Maybe it was the thought of soon making the final push to Paris that is kept the pedals turning. Maybe it was a bit of both. Either way, one thing is for sure, Lachlan’s ride is nothing short of inspiring.
Saint-Gaudens has traces of civilization dating back to the Iron Age and of Roman occupation. The town was martyred by the Visigoths at the end of the 5th century for refusing to renounce his faith.
Our Tour team is on their way to the start of stage 13 in Carcassonne. Like Lachlan, they have been enjoying the warmer weather in the south of France but like Lachlan they are also starting to feel the toll of two weeks of racing.
As Lachlan keeps on ticking off the miles in the Pyrenees, the EF team is starting to slowly chip away at his lead. It’s slow going for Lachlan at the moment, his body is broken, and he still has a long way to go. But while the world around him might be a blur at the moment due to the fatigue, the finish is starting to come into focus for Lachlan.
Cap de Bouirex
Cap de Bouirex is a mountain summit in the French Pyrenees in the department of Ariège. It’s summit sits at an altitude of 1,873 m.
The road hasn’t always been kind to Lachlan. He has overcome knee pain and foot issues, endured rough weather and pushed through very long days. This morning was a low point, and he doubted he’d make it to Paris. A few hours later, though, he was back to feeling good.
His wife joined him for lunch, and Rohan Dennis, a pro rider from another team, delivered homemade banana bread. He was later joined by teammate Jimmy Whelan, who rode with him for much of the afternoon. By the end of the day, his previous doubts seemed distant.
“Today was a good day,” he said. “It was good to see Jimmy and Rachel. It helps give me perspective.”
Andorra is a small, independent principality situated between France and Spain in the Pyrenees. It’s known for its ski resorts and a tax-haven status that encourages duty-free shopping.
Lachlan is Andorra now and is enjoying a well deserved lunch with his wife who joined him from Girona – a town situated a few hours down the road in Spain. Don’t be fooled by his progress this morning. It was business as usual today with a 6am start and a lot of climbing done already. His tracker is out of cell range in Andorra so his position hasn’t updated in over two hours but he is planning on being back in France for stage 16 by mid-afternoon.
Lachlan is starting to feel the effects of the two weeks of riding he already has in his legs. His progress will be a lot slower in the mountains this week as he tackles the big Pyrenean climbs. The last transfer to Paris is starting to cast its shadow on The Alt Tour and Lachlan has admitted to feeling intimidated by it. He described his body as feeling “broken” but seemed positive about his mental state.
La Llagonne is situate in the Pyrénées-Orientales. The town is a popular nordic skiing destination and also has a small ski station.
Another day at the Alt Tour and another 300-kilometer day for Lachlan as he keeps on ticking off the climbs in the Pyrenees. Today, Lachlan tackled 4,800-meters of elevation gain, and did we mention he is back in his sandals? Although these are not just regular sandals, a dot-watcher was kind enough to give Lachlan a pair of carbon fiber insoles that he is using to stiffen up his kicks.
Tomorrow is another big day in the mountains as Lachlan will head into Andorra to finish stage 15 before pushing on to stage 16. This will increase Lachlan’s lead further as the Tour Team will be staying an extra day in Andorra after stage 15 for their second and last rest day.
Pézilla-de-Conflent is a small town nestled in the Pyrenees – the major mountain range that splits France and Spain.
Yesterday was a big day for Lachlan and today he’s already on his way to stage 15 and has spent over six hours on the bike. But the hard days haven’t stopped Lachlan from enjoying the local culture and history.
For lunch he stopped at Carcassonne, where he had steak frites. He also told the local legend of Carcassone.
"Carcassonne had been resisting Charlemagne’s troops for five years already and the defenders were on the brink of surrender. But Dame Carcas came up with a ruse, which she hoped would fool Charlemagne. The villagers brought her a pig and a sack of wheat. She then fed wheat to the pig and threw it from the highest tower of the city walls. Charlemagne lifted the siege, believing that the city had enough food to the point of wasting pigs fed with wheat. Overjoyed by the success of her plan, Lady Carcas decided to sound all the bells in the city. One of Charlemagne's men then exclaimed: "Carcas sonne!" (which means "Carcas rings"). Hence the name of the city."
Before Lachlan set off again, a local man came to see Lachlan and wish him best of luck, when Lachlan asked him about the pig story he found out it wasn't ture and just a local legend. Lachlan said, “It was still a good story"
Vive la France
The Town of Lavelanet is said to have been founded by the monks of Saint Sernin of Toulouse in the ninth century. The town of Lavelanet sits at the foot of the fortified castle of “Castelsarrasin.”
Lachlan is at his campsite for the night and is enjoying some down time after what has been a rollercoaster of a day.
He struggled to get any sleep last night as his campsite was next to a bullfighting ring which also hosted parties until the early hours of the morning. Once he set off, the already long journey was made longer due a strong and persistent headwind throughout the day. And as if that wasn’t enough, his electronic gears which allows him to shift seamlessly with the push of a button ran out of battery meaning he was stuck in an easy gear for much of the afternoon.
But after nearly 300-kilometers of riding, through the south of France’s blistering heat, Lachlan was able to enjoy a camp cooked dinner in the Pyrenees and that’s an achievement in itself.
Inhabited since the Neolithic period, Carcassonne is located in the plain of the Aude between historic trade routes, linking the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea and the Massif Central to the Pyrénées.
Stage 10 just kicked off for our Tour team just as Lachlan rolled into Carcassone, the finish town for stage 13 and start town for stage 14. After a big day yesterday, Lachlan set out early again this morning and has already managed to cover close to 200-kilometers and will push on for another 100-kilometers of stage 14.
We are entering the second week of the tour and we are already 92% of the way to our goal of raising £225,000 for World Bicycling relief. Donations will be used to provide even more young people who are challenged by the barrier of distance with a robust Buffalo Bicycle which they need to access an education.
Villevieille is a small town on the outskits of Nîmes. The town is built around the Château de Villevieille built in the 11th century.
Lachlan had another big day in the saddle. He logged 13 hours on the bike and covered over 300-kilometers, increasing his lead over the peloton to 850-kilometers.
He rode the Ventoux this morning on an empty stomach and didn’t eat until lunch when he had a packet of figs. The first real meal he would have today was at dinner when he had a melon with some prosciutto ham, a packet of chips and a bottle of French cider.
The afternoon got really hot for Lachlan with temperatures reaching over 30˚C (86˚ F) and he rode on deceivingly hard terrain which included a lot of climbing spread out over the whole course.
For Lachlan, the highlight of the day, and maybe the week, was the Mont Ventoux.
“I was there pretty much by myself. Felt like a religious moment, not so often you get this mountain all to yourself.”
The peloton definitely won’t get to experience the same serenity he felt on the Ventoux this Wednesday… Large crowds and fast racing are expected.
Located at the foot of Mont Ventoux, Malaucène is a typical Provençal towns and features Medieval, Gallic and Roman structures (even prehistoric vestiges).
Lachlan finished his second ascent of the Mont Ventoux this morning and is getting ready to push on towards stage 12.
Yesterday, Lachlan struggled with foot pain in the later part of the day stemming from having ridden for a few days in damp shoes and socks. As the weather in the South has already been significantly warmer, Lachlan was able to sleep under the starts yesterday night allowing him to “air everything out”.
Today is a rest day for our Tour team. They are at a hotel up in the Alps still and will soon be heading out for a short recovery ride around Tignes. The rest day will be good for the riders’ spirit after what was a hard week of racing but it will also be good for Lachlan’s lead as he will continue to build on the 600-kilometer gap he already has over the peloton.
Situated at the heat of the Région Sud, the Mont Ventoux or the “Beast of Provence” as it is known in region, is a staple of the Tour and an one of the World’s great climbs
Today, was a day of many days for Lachlan.
Lachlan got up at 5am as he has grown accustomed to doing during the Alt Tour. After his “breakfast”, which consisted of instant coffee mixed straight into milk, Lachlan continued his journey south under clear skies and on quite roads. The clear skies didn’t last for long though and he had to endure the rain for the better part of the day.
Lachlan also experienced several punctures along the way, ran out of inner tubes and had to resort to tying knots in them to keep the tubes air tight.
But Lachlan’s luck began to turn as the afternoon progressed. He was able to find a bicycle shop that sold the right size inner tubes - a feat in itself, not to mention it was 5pm on a Sunday in a remote area of France.
By the time Lachlan made it to the base of the climb, a dense fog had settled at the top. As he made his way up into the clouds, Lachlan stopped by the Tom Simpson memorial and paid tribute to the rider who tragically passed away while racing up the climb during the 1967 Tour. Lachlan laid down his own cycling cap at the base of the memorial and pushed on to complete his own adventure. The fog persisted as he summited the climb. As he made himself ready to head back down, the sun began to shine again and lifted the fog, exposing the magical landscape that makes this climb so iconic - a fitting end to what turned out to be a wonderful day.
The site where the city of Montélimar stands today has been inhabited since the Celtic era. It was reconstructed during the Roman reign, including a basilica, aqueducts, thermae and a forum.
Lachlan hit the road right after 6am this morning and is continuing his trek south and to the Mont Ventoux.
If you do not know the history behind the Mont Ventoux it is definitely worth looking into. Situated at the heart of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in the South of France, the Beast of Provence as it is known in the region is famous for it’s barren moon like landscape. A staple of bike races in the region it has also become an iconic Tour climb and now also has it’s own bike race - a race that Lachlan took part in earlier this year.
“It’s a very difficult climb and I’ve already climbed it twice this year in one day so the thought of doing it again, not on a race bike, and in warmer weather, sucks.”
Here’s to hoping this trip up Ventoux is more enjoyable.
Situated between Grenoble and Valence, Saint-Marcellin is made famous by the cheese that bears it's name. The cheese is a soft cheese with bloomy rind.
Another big day in the books for the Tour team and for Lachlan. Lachlan has started his journey towards the blistering sun and the scorching heat which are the norm in the south of France this time of year. So far, Lachlan has had to endure cold, damp starts and lots of rain. It has made for some tough going and uncomfortable nights in wet camping gear. But still he’s smiling.
Lachlan is past the halfway mark of stage 10. Tomorrow will be a big day for him as he hopes to make it to the Mont-Ventoux in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France.
Voiron, along with Chambéry and Grenoble, is a gateway city to the Chartreuse Mountains in the Alps. Voiron was part of the County of Savoy in the Middle Ages but was exchanged in the treaty of Paris in 1355.
Stage 8 of the Tour is done – and our very own Rigoberto Urán moved up into 4th overall after a thrilling stage. Lachlan meanwhile is cursing and has made it halfway through stage 10. His goal at the moment is to get to a point where he could tackle the Mont Ventoux tomorrow. There’s no stopping him apparently.
Shoe update: He’s back in his regular cleats and seems to be enjoying it.
Chambéry has been the historical capital of the Savoy region since the 13th century. In the heart of the city, is located the Château de Chambéry Built by the counts of Savoy in 1285.
It’s raining in the Alps and stage 8 of Le Tour is proving to be a hard one already for our Tour team. Meanwhile in the following valley, Lachlan is still powering on and has already made it to stage 10. He’s been joined by a host of dot-watchers today and the views are proving to be spectacular.
Bourg-Saint-Maurice is nestled at the hear of the Paradiski ski area. The town is also at the foot of the Montée de Tignes, an iconic Tour de France finish climb.
Lachlan is 60-kilometers in and has already gone over the first two climbs of the day and is on his way to the third and final climb of stage 9 – the Montée de Tignes. After the Montée de Tignes, Lachlan will have finished the first official “week” of the Tour and will be able to stretch out his lead again as he will keep on cruising towards stage 10 while the peloton will head to their rest day after stage 9.
Yesterday, was a hard day for Lachlan mentally and physically. His sandals took their last pedal stroke in the morning before breaking completely which made for some tough climbing in flip flops. Today, he might revert back to the cycling shoes to give his feet a rest. Thankfully, once he gets past the valley road, he will be on flatter ground as he makes his way down to the south of France.
Located at the foot of the Mont Blanc massif, Sallanches has become a commercial hub in the region largely due to the presence of many high-tech industries.
Stage 7 is done and dusted for our Tour team meanwhile, Lachlan is making his way over the numerous passes that litter stage 9. His progress has been slow and steady relative to the other days, but the sun’s been shinning and he’s been joined by numerous dot-watchers out on the road which has made for an enjoyable day out.
The peloton had a really fast stage today – nearly doubling the average speed Lachlan had on the same route, and with the various long transfers between stages, they are rapidly eating into the lead Lachy had built up over the last couple of days.
Côte de Mont-Saxonnex
The côte de Mont-Saxonnex is the first category 1 climb of the 2021 Tour. The climb is 5.7-kilometers in length with an average gradient of 8%.
Lachlan is on the first category 1 climb of the 2021 Tour. Today, he will look to finish stage 7 and then go on to ride all of stage 8 before tackling 71-kilometers of stage 9 – the second mountain stage of the Tour. A big day in the saddle for Lachlan who, if everything goes to plan, should cover around 5,500m of climbing.
Awarded a medal of resistance for standing up to the Vichy government and Nazi occupants, Oyonnax has become an important symbol of resistance in France.
On the road again…
Lachlan is on the stage 8 course. He has about 80-kilometers before he hits the first category-1 climb of the Tour – the côte de Mont-Saxonnex. He has managed to keep an average speed of 25 kilometers per hour although with 3,500-meters of elevation gain today, that could slow right down.
Don’t think that just because Lachlan is doing his own (Alt) Tour that he isn’t following the race closely. “I’d love it if I could just stop this afternoon to watch the race,” said Lachlan half way through the day. He also noted that “Rigo is sitting very pretty before the mountains.” Hopefully, he will be able to see Rigoberto Uran do his thing in the Alps.
The Ain department in eastern France is composed of four distinct geographically regions. From CERN's Large Hadron Collider to speciality wines, this department really has it all.
Lachlan’s start to his day was less than ideal but that didn’t seem to dampen his mood in the slightest. He started the day with no food and no hot water which meant he consumed cold instant coffee for breakfast. Once he finally found some food, he wolfed down fresh fruit, and a liter of milk – one of his favorite breakfast “foods” at the moment.
His riding was slowed by a series of punctures that he sustained due to the particularly unforgiving pavement in the remote parts of France but he was still able to cover just over 300-kilometers and he was rewarded by a shower at his campsite where he was also able to clean his bibs.
Tomorrow will be the first proper mountain test for Lachlan. He will try to make it as far he can but is still not sure whether he will switch back to his cleats or not. Blisters have developed on his feet from the sandal straps but he again improved them today by removing a strap and it seems to have done the trick. Who knows what tomorrow holds…
Saint-Amour is a French commune located in the Jura department which borders Switzerland.
Stage 6 done for our Tour team while Lachlan is setting up his campsite close to the start of Stage 8. The sun is out and the temperature creeped up over 25˚C (77˚F). Lachlan covered close to 3,00-kilometers so far, on par with the other days so far. However, his 4,000m of elevation gain today is the most he’s climbed on the Alt Tour to date and is just a taste of what’s to come in the following weeks.
Le Creusot owes it’s fame to the Schneider family, who ruled the town for more than a century. The family developed a holistic approach to government through policy, building housing, schools, hospitals, retirement homes, places of worship, and more.
Stage 6 of the Tour is a go. Short stage for our Tour team as they make their way to Châteauroux. Meanwhile, 460-kilometers further up the road, Lachlan has started his transfer to stage 8 and the the first mountain stage of the Tour.
“I think the mornings are the hardest part of the day but I managed to have a good sleep. Today I’m hoping to tick off another 300km or so. Heading across France towards the Alps. I think the roads will be a little more forgiving than we’ve had over the past 4 days, so let’s see what the day holds.” - Lachy
Lachlan set off at 6:00 this morning and is continuing to build on his 250-kilometer lead over the peloton. Today, is the first properly sunny day we’ve had so far at the Tour which should make for an enjoyable day for Lachlan and our Tour team.
We are getting closer and closer to the Alps and Lachlan’s days of rinding in his sandals are numbered. He is around 200-kilometers away from stage 8 and while everything has been smooth sailing on the flatter grounds so far, as soon as he hits the mountains his progress will slow considerably as he heaves his gear over the numerous passes.
Villequiers is a small commune at the heart of the Pays de Loire primarily based around agriculture.
Lachlan has found his campsite for the night - a field on the side of a road - and has already enjoyed his dinner after a 350-kilometer day. Meanwhile, the EF Tour riders have just made it to their hotel in Tours and are about to begin their recovery process starting with a massage and then dinner.
Today, Lachlan was joined by a lot of dot-watchers throughout the day as he continued to build his lead over the peloton. Lachlan even crossed the road that will take him back to Paris in week three today unbeknownst to him. A pair of riders who joined him in Tours wished him fair well and told him that they’ll “see him when he comes back.” To which Lachlan answered “I don’t think I will be coming back soon, sorry!” Only to be reminded that he was.
Paris sure does feel like a long ways away… for now.
Vierzon is a town located at the heart of France and was the flagship of the textile, porcelain and agricultural machinery industries in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Well, Lachlan’s time on the time trial course yesterday was beaten today… 1h17 was the time to beat, the fastest EF Tour rider on the day - Rigoberto Urán - finished in just over 33min – although he didn’t stop for an interview midway through his ride.
Today, Lachlan had another 300-kilometer day and the sandals seem to be working their magic. No complaints about the knee and he has even managed the power on and is ahead of schedule. Lachlan is currently riding stage 7 of the Tour, just as the peloton has begun it’s 180-kilometer drive to the next hotel.
Tours is a university town between France's Cher and Loire rivers. Once a Gallic-Roman settlement, today it's a university town and a traditional gateway for exploring the chateaux of the Loire Valley region.
The EF Tour riders have just sat down for their breakfast before heading to the start of the stage 5 time trial. Meanwhile, Lachlan has ridden around 100-kilometers this morning and is just getting started on stage 6.
Lachlan will keep riding in his sandals today to hopefully help his knee recover some more although based on his reports he seems to be enjoying the sandal life.
“The sandals are a hit, man! I’m really enjoying it.”
Another day, another campsite for Lachlan. A 300-kilometer day made harder by a sore knee for Lachlan. He decided to ride in a pair of sandals he got yesterday and got new flat pedals yesterday as well to go with them. It didn’t seem to bother Lachlan too much though as his average speed remained the same and by day’s end he said his knee felt a lot better already.
After enjoying his breakfast which consisted of a baguette, a liter of kefir, he rode with Ondrej Xmeskal, a visually impaired athlete who is riding the Tour route on a tandem with a sighted pilot. He also set the first time on the time trial course today, riding it in 1h17. His time included a media interview stop halfway through it. Tomorrow, Lachlan said he would “take it easy” on his knee. Knowing Lachlan his “easy” is definitely relative.
La Flèche is a town in the Pays de la Loire. The town is at the heart of the Loire valley and is made famous for its rich history and art.
Stage 5 is done for the peloton. Lachlan made it to his final destination of the day - La Flèche - which is the halfway point between stage 5 and stage 6. He covered over 300-kilometers today and is finally making his way east after spending the last few days zig-zagging through Brittany.
Laval is a town known for it’s rich culture and heritage that dates back to the Middle Ages. The birthplace of Henri Rousseau - the famed painter - Laval also holds an important place in the world of art.
Lachlan is now over 1,000-kilometers into his journey around France. He is currently half way through the stage 5 time trial course while the peloton has just rolled off for the start of stage 4. The sun is shinning and it is remarkably warmer than it has been over the last couple of days. Fingers crossed it lasts…
Rennes is the capital city of Brittany, in northwest France. Labeled a city of art and history, it has preserved an important medieval and classical heritage within its historic center with over 90 buildings protected as historic monuments.
Lachlan has been on the road since 6am today and is already 100-kilometers into stage 4. Today, he will start to build his lead over the peloton quite considerably as stage 5 is only 27-kilometers in length and 40-kilometer from the stage 4 finish. He should have a one day advantage over the peloton by day’s end.
The weather hasn’t been kind to all the riders in Brittany. Hard rain plastered the peloton and Lachlan numerous times throughout the day which made for cold, soggy riding. Another overcast day today, but even the rain can’t take away from the beautiful scenery and the wonderful people we are encountering on the roads.
Dinner time here in Brittany for Lachlan and the EF Tour riders. Long, wet day for everyone involved but spirits are still high heading into day 4 of the (Alt) Tour. Today, he got his first hot meal of the week while he watched the peloton go by. Tonight, Lachlan’s dinner consisted of couscous, nuts and dried fruit which he enjoyed by another one of Brittany’s many canals. Early morning tomorrow to get ahead of the peloton again.
“Getting into my bivy is like getting into an f1 car, night!”
And that’s a very good afternoon, good evening and good night to everyone from all of us here in France.
Pontivy built its reputation around its medieval castle. Dedicated to Notre Dame de Joie, the 16th century Basilica keeps the memory of the vow made in 1696 to protect the city from a serious epidemic.
The peloton just rolled off for stage 3 of the Tour just as Lachlan rolled into Pontivy, the finish town of today’s stage. Close to 190-kilometers in the books already today and over seven hours of saddle time. Today’s transfer to the beginning of the next stage is a little under 100-kilometers. With another early morning likely tomorrow, Lachlan will probably stop once he completes the transfer but time will tell…
A beautiful little port town situated on the southern coast of Brittany, Auray was the landing place for Benjamin Franklin at the beginning of the US War of Independence when he sought to get military aid from Louis XVI.
Lachlan has been on the road since 5:00am this morning and is making good headway into stage 3. Stage 3 and the transfer is just over 250-kilometers and Lachlan will be hoping to make it to the end of the stage before the Tour riders even set off this morning.
Yesterday, Lachy ran out of food with around 50-kilometers to go in the transfer and had to stop to get two baguettes which he said “were the best baguettes of his life”, he then also had to try out the local speciality – apple cider. Along the way, he has already encountered some dot-watchers and can’t wait to see more people our on the road!
Dinner time for Lachlan and the EF Tour riders. Both are on the outskirts of Lorient and are enjoying a beautiful sunset. Beans and bread for Lachlan, full dinner for the riders. Lachlan will again have to get up early to get ahead of the peloton before they close the roads for the race. Cheered on by fans and already joined by dot watcher on day 2, Lachlan is feeling great and is in good spirits. Three weeks of riding your bike around the French countryside, what’s not to love?
Lorient is a town and seaport in the Morbihan department of Brittany. It is commonly known as “La ville aux cinq ports” ("the city of five ports"): military, fishing, commercial, passengers and yachting.
Stage 2 is done and dusted for the Tour peloton and the team has started to make their way to the next hotel from the Mûr-de-Bretagne. Meanwhile, Lachlan has nearly made it to the start town of stage 3 – Lorient. He flew through the 80-kilometer transfer and is going to get some well deserved shut eye before setting off again early tomorrow morning.
Reminder, this is a marathon, not a sprint (although a 250-kilometer day is no small day…)
Made famous by the climb that bears the name of the town, Mûr-de-Bretagne has become a classic Tour de France finish town. In the heart of Brittany, it epitomizes Breton ruggedness and culture.
Lachlan is taking on the final loop in the Mûr-de-Bretagne just as the peloton starts stage 2 of the Tour. He has a healthy 180-kilometer lead over the EF team and will keep on cruising throughout the day.
Tréguier is the historic capital of Trégor division in Brittany. Cathedral, alleys and half-timbered houses are among the characteristic elements of this ancient episcopal city.
Lachlan started riding around 07:00 this morning. Stage 2 and the transfer to the start of stage3 is around 270-kilometers and includes over 3,000-meters of climbing. Lachlan is planning on another big day and will likely push on well into the night again today so that he can start to build his lead on the peloton.
Yesterday, Lachlan didn’t really stop from the moment he set off. He made one stop to fill up on water and soda water. He’s been enjoying the support he’s gotten from the fans on the side of the road of the Tour which made yesterday’s hard stage a little easier for Lachlan. It got quite cold around 7:30 pm and it started raining so the Rapha rain shell went on and he powered on to to Perros-Guirec where he ended the day around 00:15 CET.
Perros-Guirec is located in the middle of a protected natural site on the coast of the English channel. The area is marked by pink granite rocks in shapes that make them look like they have been carved by the coastal wind.
Lachlan crossed the start line of stage 2 right around midnight. 300-kilometers and nearly 11-hours of riding all on day 1 of the Alt Tour. It looks like Lachlan might have stopped to catch some shut eye but he won’t have long to rest as he has to be up early to get on the race route before they close the roads for stage 2 in a few hours. For now, Lachlan has to work on growing his lead over the Tour riders as the transfers between stages for the peloton – where they will be traveling by car – will get progressively longer throughout the race.
Lachlan crossed the line of stage 1 three and a half hours after the peloton. The sun is beginning to set here in Brittany and while the Tour riders just sat down to enjoy dinner, Lachlan is powering on, riding to the start of stage 2 in Perros-Guirec (89-kilometers). There’s no telling when he might stop…
Landerneau is a commune in Brittany situated 23km outside of Brest. It's known for its beautiful scenery and rich Breton culture.
Stage 1 just finished for the peloton. Lachan is 80-km behind them and is making good progress and working to catch up to the peloton – not an easy task since he is weighed down by his gear and the three weeks of constant riding and camping ahead. While the peloton will now head back to their hotel in Brest, Lachlan will keep on cruising and continue onward towards the stage 2 start in Lannion. This is where he will make up most of his time.
Lachlan set off for his 5,510km journey around France at 1:00pm CET. Self supported, he will have the French country side for company during the day and the stars to guide him at night. An ode to the 1903 Tour, an epic adventure, and all for a great cause. Follow his epic adventure right here over the next three weeks.