Lachlan Morton finished his Alt Tour, finishing the remarkable 5,510 km race with a five-day advantage over the Tour de France field, and it was on this bike that he did it.
Morton reached Paris in the early hours of Tuesday morning (July 13), riding his Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod bikepacking platform.
We met Morton halfway through the ride – you can listen to this episode of the BikeRadar podcast here – and he walked us through some of the details of his setup.
SuperSix Evo, bikepacking style
The Australian used his spare team bike, but the 5-foot-11 rider went down from 54cm to 56cm to allow him to carry more luggage.
The SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod is EF Education-Nippo’s racing bike, alongside the SystemSix aero bike from the American firm’s range.
All in all, this is the perfect bike for a ride like this. It’s a lightweight, aerodynamic all-rounder and, in our experience, a bike that combines its racy features with exquisite handling and impressive comfort.
Morton’s ride was on the road, so there was no need for the extra tire clearances of a gravel bike or endurance bike, and a professional rider is well used to spending hours in the kind of aggressive stance of the road bike geometry the SuperSix offers.
The 29-year-old traded in his racing bike gears – typically a 53-39t crankset with an 11-28t cassette – for a compact crankset (FSA 50-34t chainrings with SiSL2 cranks from Cannondale) and an 11-32t cassette.
Gear “easy” by professional standards, but quite normal for the rest of us, not to mention a ride of 5,500 km above the Alps, Mont Ventoux and the Pyrenees, or on average more than 300 km per day, and with the additional weight of a bikepack setup.
“I have a fairly heavy bike and that just means that once it gets over five percent [gradient], you’re down to the smallest gear and riding more or less as hard as you can to keep it at a decent speed, ”Morton told BikeRadar.
“You just have to change your mind to what you are used to doing. Things just take a lot longer. What would normally be a 10 km climb effectively becomes a 15 km climb.
Morton’s SuperSix comes equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, Vision Metron 55 SL wheels, 25mm Vittoria Corsa tires, a Prologo Scratch M5 saddle and Vision Aero handlebars – essential for a ride like this. here, not only for aerodynamics but also to offer a different position on the bike.
Morton has gone from the built-in cockpit normally found on his SuperSix to a standard stem and Vision Metron 4D handlebars with rounded tops, to allow him to adapt these clip-on bars.
“I run the pads directly over the flat bar, just because I find it to be the most comfortable position,” Morton said.
The build is completed with a Power2Max power meter, with a Garmin Edge 1030 GPS bike computer providing ride and navigation data.
Morton also started the race with Speedplay pedals and Fizik cycling shoes but, as we’ll get to, his shoes were very different in the end.
Dutch company Followmychallenge provided the GPS tracker which allowed fans to track Morton’s progress on the Alt Tour website.
What is the Alt Tour?
If you’re not familiar (and if so, where were you?), Morton left Brittany on Saturday June 26 to cover the entire Tour de France route, solo and unassisted, with the aim of beating the race for Paris.
However, not content with this single challenge, the EF Education-Nippo rider also took care of completing each transfer between stages, adding an additional 2,400 km in the saddle, with an additional 15,000 m of vertical drop (taking the total amount of the ascent to more than 65,000 m).
Morton rode the Alt Tour unassisted, camping and stocking up on food along the way. As for the bike bags, he used Rapha’s rear bag and bar with a Rapha + Outdoor Voices fanny pack.
The Frame Pack is custom made by Utah-based Tolcat and is designed to fill the entire triangle of the frame, to maximize capacity.
“Being three weeks old, I didn’t want to skimp on sleep equipment and kitchen stuff because at the end of the day if you try to go too light you’re just going to be uncomfortable – and that’s it. is too long to be uncomfortable, ”Morton said.
Throughout the ride, Morton carried a foam sleeping pad, sleeping bag, bivouac bag, camping pot, camping stove, power bank, and water bag (plus a bottle in the bar bag). Rapha, the team’s apparel sponsor, provided the riding kit and POC the Octal MIPS helmet.
That left lights and a beacon, a supply of inner tubes and spare parts, and a Silca Tattico mini pump.
Remarkably, Morton wore sandals for most of the ride, partly to relieve knee pain, but also to keep his feet dry after an unusual amount of rain in the first week of the ride. No clipless pedals here, just old flat pedals. Morton also cut the front straps to keep them from rubbing.
“I like sandals now,” Morton said when we spoke to him after 3,049 miles. “Because I had so much rain – it’s every day except two or three – I had wet feet and I had a bit of a trench foot, so I put on the sandals just for the to ventilate. They grow up on me, I just like to ride with them.
When Morton reached the Pyrenees, a fan donated a set of carbon soles to add some support to his makeshift shoes. Is this the dawn of a new era of performance cycling sandals?
What’s next for Morton? He’s no stranger to testing his mettle in some of the world’s toughest events, having ridden the Leadville 100, Badlands, Unbound and Three Peaks as part of EF Education-Nippo’s alternative racing calendar.
For now, however, all he wants is a comfortable bed.
“The idea of getting into a nice hotel bed and doing nothing for a few days seems like the nicest thing,” Morton said.
Lachlan Morton Alt Tour setup
- Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod
- Vision Metron 55 SL rims
- 25mm Vittoria Corsa tires
- Prologo Scratch M5 saddle
- Vision aero bars
- Speedplay pedals (switched to flat pedals)
- Power2Max power meter
- Silca Tattico Mini Pump
- Garmin Edge 1030 bike computer
- Rapha handbag
- Rapha rear pack
- Rapha bar bag + Outdoor Voices
- Tolcat custom frame bag
- Followmychallenge GPS Tracker
In his bags
- Foam sleeping pad
- Sleeping bag
- Bivouac bag
- Camping pot
- Camp burner
- Water bag
- Power bank
- Spare lights and headlights
- Spare swimsuits, bib shorts, Rapha down jackets and extra rain jackets
- Spare inner tubes and tires