Video: Lachlan Morton's 539 Mile FKT Attempt & Podcast

Nov 23, 2022
by Mike Levy  

Lachlan Morton might be better known in the curly bar world, but I'm willing to argue that the Australian's accomplishments on two wheels transcend whatever category of bike he happens to be on. The EF Education-EasyPost racer used to spend his time lining up for World Tour events against the fittest and quickest in the world, but he's taken on a much more diversified approach over the last handful of years, including some wild adventures in Columbia and Eastern Europe, tackling the Leadville, and setting an FKT on the 142-mile Kokopelli Trail. Oh, and that little ride he did last summer that saw him beat the Tour de France peloton while riding the entire route unsupported... Including transfer stages.

This time around he's back to take another stab at setting the Fastest Known Time, or FKT, on the 539-mile (867km) Colorado Trail that runs from Denver to Durango at an average elevation of over 10,000 feet. His previous attempt, back in 2019, saw him come up short of Neil Beltchenko's record of three days, 19 hours, and 50 minutes, but can Lachlan better that on his second try? He's motivated by Sule Kangangi, a friend and training partner from Eldoret, Kenya, who lost his life while competing in a gravel event earlier this year.

Not familiar with Lachlan? I spoke with him earlier in the year, so you should give the podcast below a listen to get to know one of cycling's most interesting people.

Feb 5th, 2022

Less intervals, more adventures

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mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 13 1
 This is awesome.

Still waiting for something like this about @henryquinney 's FKT too. FKTs are such awesome feats of endurance and mental strength and they always make great stories. Seems like an obvious thing for PB to do a podcast asking Henry in depth about his, the prep, the training, the actual ride, the mental side of it etc. It's such a cool part of cycling. No love for this idea @mikelevy?
  • 14 0
 Ha - honestly, I'm kind of embarrassed by it all now I suppose. Not by stuffing the socks in my bibs for the photo-ops but rather the lengths I went to not complete something. I mean, I only got the FKT on the South Island because I shat my pants up North and couldn't get the overall fastest for both islands. Shame really, as I felt pretty good, and maybe on a different day I would have held out.
  • 8 1
 I love Lachlan, but this video went too far into the cheese fridge for me. Not a fan of the overly poetic narration stuff but always a fan of Lachlans efforts, inspirational.
  • 9 4
 So if Lach’s time doesn’t “officially” count because he had a camera crew present, does that also mean every World Cup win is a sham??
  • 8 1
 @i-like-toytles this is a good question. The answer is no, because the UCI has their own set of race rules and they are different than the rules of the CTR.
  • 1 0
  • 1 1
 This is a recurring theme with FKT attempts. It's not like there is a governing body for any of this stuff, lots of the "official" records are just moderated by some guy with a website. There was a similar kerfuffle when Lael Wilcox set the Arizona Trail FKT. To me, a lot of it feels like crusty dudes imposing their one specific viewpoint on how a race/ride should be done. If the media team is feeding and resupplying you, that would obviously ruin the attempt, but in reality they are simply flying a drone over you for 10 minutes every 4-5 hours. These rides are incredibly remote, it's not like they have a sag car.
  • 6 0
 Love it. What an inspirational maniac.
  • 3 1
 Fantastic production and a superhuman -- literally -- effort. Thanks for sharing the introspection along the way. Most of all, thank you for acknowledging that the film crew changes things.
  • 5 0
 KOM on CT Seg 7 (Gold Hill TH to Copper), with a 150mi warmup...
  • 1 0
 Wow. Wtf!!! That is such an awful climb too
  • 3 0
 I’m still grappling with his AltTDF. Monster.
  • 2 1
 Lachlan is one of the most down to earth guys I've ever met, top notch guy with a stellar palmares and this just confirms that. Great effort.
  • 2 2
 I buy my fake LBs off the fake LB website. Haven't seen a WAO fake website yet, so therefore obviously no fake fakes yet. PB should let us know when fake WAOs are on the internet..
  • 3 0
 That is rad
  • 3 0
 Love it, go Lachy !!!
  • 3 1
 Over the moon to be able to support Lachy!
  • 2 0
 One of my favorite riders for sure!
  • 1 0
 amazing....pushing the limits there for sure....i bet the memories will last forever...big well done.
  • 1 0
 Most venerable FKT out there IMO, what a boss
  • 6 9
 Someone please look into Leal Wilcox and video please? She got destroyed on the internet and this guy is cool to go? f*ck off.
  • 2 0
 She got destroyed on the internet? How so?
  • 1 4
 Schilling was definitely a bit aggro in the way he approached her at every point in her time trial, but she does seem to be bit against the rules (in a way that doesn't seem to respect them much) herself so it goes both ways. Lach literally had no interaction with his film crews and purely did it for himself whether it was shared or not. Lael obviously wants to show the world to the point where who knows if she's really doing it for herself. I'm not here to judge on that but from everything I've read, it seems to be that way.
  • 4 2
 From what I remember there were _a lot_ of people and athletes who supported Leal's FKT. The "rules" are arbitrary and capricious and just define what one white dude posts on his webstie. Leal crushed the time and is an amazing athlete.
  • 3 0
 @grumbly: The rules are neither arbitrary nor capricious. They were evolved/developed by a devoted cadre of athletes over almost two decades, and continue to evolve today. That you think they are the making of one "white dude" says more about your ignorance than anything relevant to this topic.

Lael created her own firestorm by ignoring the rules for the event she was attempting. Simple as that. Her effort was incredible, her handling -- or lack thereof -- of the details surrounding it, and after it, could have been done much more gracefully.
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