The Australian cyclist from the EF Education First completed the 185 km of the complete lap to Menorca in 10:12:01 and reduces the fastest know time so far by 43 minutes, which Ismael Ventura set in March last year.
Lachlan Morton had a brilliant day on his MTB in Menorca on 18 February 2022. The Australian cyclist, a member of the EF Education First team, successfully overcame the Camí de Cavalls 360º Non-Stop MTB challenge and set a new fastest known time (FKT): he covered the 185 technical and leg-breaking kilometers that follow the perimeter of the island in a time of 10 hours 12 minutes and 1 second.
He reduced the previous FKT by more than 43 minutes, which Ismael Ventura held by 10 hours 55 minutes and 8 seconds since March last year. It must be noted, however, that Isma started from Ciutadella in a clockwise direction, while Lachlan has done it from Maó and in an anti-clockwise direction. Both options are valid for the purposes of the Camí de Cavalls 360º Non-Stop MTB ranking. The activity was sponsored by the Fundació Foment del Turisme de Menorca.
Lachlan Morton maintained a very high pace throughout the course of the day. He left the historic center of Maó shortly before seven in the morning, heading north. The first kilometers of the route favored his riding style and he took advantage of this to begin subtracting minutes from the clock compared to Ismael Ventura’s times eleven months ago.
However, arriving at the technically most complicated section of the route, around the Es Alocs area, did not make him lose much time either. Shortly after eleven in the morning he had already left behind Cala Morell (km 77) and before one in the afternoon he passed in front of the Cap d’Artrutx lighthouse (km 110).
Neither the constantly rocky terrain, nor the traditional wild olive gates that had to be opening and closing again and again, was enough of an obstacle for Lachlan Morton to slow down his pace. Passing through Cala Galdana (km 127) at two in the afternoon and through Cala en Porter (154 km) around half past three, it was clear that he was going to break the record. Finally, he was back to the start point shortly after 5pm with the new FKT of 10:12:01.
“This trail is relentless”
Once the Camí de Cavalls 360º Non-Stop MTB challenge was over, Lachlan Morton commented: “This trail is relentless. The rocky sections they just don’t let up, you have to really work all the time. You just have to be really focused. There are so many places where you can constantly make small mistakes; I didn’t make any big mistake, but I made hundreds of small mistakes”.
Who is Lachlan Morton?
Lachlan Morton was born in Port Macquarie, off the coast of New South Wales, Australia. He has been a professional cyclist since the 2013-14 season and has been a member of UCI teams such as Garmin, Jelly Belly, Dimension Data and, since 2019, EF Education First. He has competed in such important events as the Giro d’Italia (2020) and the Tour of Spain (2017) and has won stage events such as the Tour of Utah or the Tour of the Gila (both in the United States).
But his sporting activity goes far beyond road cycling. He is a recognized figure in the world of gravel and has also carried out notable challenges in mountain biking. With his brother, also a cyclist, Angus Morton, they starred in three challenges immortalized in the documentaries Thereabouts: they covered 2,500 km between Port Macquarie and Uluru (Australia) in 2014; they did a 600-mile trek in the Rocky Mountains (Colorado, USA) in 2015; and they discovered Colombia on two wheels in 2017.
Among the various records and marks it holds, the world record for the Everesting challenge stands out, consisting of climbing and descending 8,848 meters of elevation gain in the shortest possible time. In June 2020, he did it in 7:29:57, although Alberto Contador later reduced that time by two minutes. That same year, he won the Badlands, a 700 km race through the lands of Granada and Almeria, in just over 43 hours.
Last year, Lachlan Morton completed his latest challenge. Under the name of Alt Tour, he cycled solo the entire route of the Tour de France 2021: a total of 5,510 km which he solved in sixteen days at the rate of twelve hours on the bike a day.
History and ranking of CdC360 Non-Stop MTB
Camí de Cavalls 360º Non-Stop MTB route could be described as comparatively modest in terms of distance, but it hides some unexpected technical and physical difficulties and has almost no flat meter. In addition, the rock is present almost ubiquitously, preventing a constant pedal stroke. To round off the obstacles, there are the traditional olive grove barriers, which need to be opened and closed and forced to stop and restart constantly.
Ismael Ventura established the FKT on March 10, 2021. His was the first attempt on Camí de Cavalls 360º Non-Stop MTB of the last year, premiere of the time validation service that has been carried out by Camí de Cavalls 360º ever since. Other renowned mountain biking specialists went through Menorca to face the challenge, such as Joan Llordella, Pau Zamora and Adrià Noguera.
Also in the women’s category, Camí de Cavalls 360º Non-Stop MTB had several attempts during 2020. The most successful was Orbea Factory Team cyclist Sandra Jordà Pascó, who set up the women’s FKT at 15:01:46 on April 19.