• Lachlan Morton at the 2018 Tour Down Under presentation (Getty)Source: Getty
Australian Lachlan Morton is returning to EF Pro Cycling, a logical signing given its new direction.
Rachel de Bear

2 Nov 2018 - 8:55 AM  UPDATED 2 Nov 2018 - 12:12 PM

The 26-year-old started his pro cycling career with EF Pro Cycling, leaving Garmin Sharp - as it was known then -  for Jelly Belly and the last two seasons with Dimension Data. 

Morton's new future offers some light after a tough 2018. He was frustrated at his Tour of California form, and a broken arm suffered in a training accident with a car in Colorado effectively ruined his nothern hemisphere summer.

He raced a few days here and there after recovering from the injury but is "sort of itching to get back into to it to be honest."  

The signing is a no-brainer given EF Pro Cycling recently announced its future lies beyond traditional road cycling and out there at a wide mix of races a lot of us also participate in - like gravel events and races like Leadville. 

Morton was bikepacking off-road with road-bike geometry before it became cool again. And in a lot of ways, he contributed to it becoming cool. 

Christmas 2013, Morton and his brother Angus took off to Uluru from Port Macquarie on their road bikes and made an awesome film about it - Thereabouts #1. 

They followed it up with two more films. The more infamous, 'Thereabouts #2' saw them venture from Colorado to Moab with Taylor Phinney (currently riding for EF Pro Cycling) and Aussie Cameron Wurf.

With 'Thereabouts #2', the Mortons, Phinney and Wurf threw away "the rules" - they made it OK for us to wear a denim jacket or an AFL guernsey while cycling big distances. We could even throw away the cycling knicks if our butts and other parts could bear it. They emboldened us to thumb our noses to the judgey road cyclists we might encounter out there. 

“A lot of people have connected with me through the Thereabouts stuff because it’s relevant to them. I feel like a lot of the time when I'm racing I don't feel like I'm really relevant to a lot of cycling fans,” Morton said.

“I hope that we can successfully create that connection that makes World Tour cycling more relevant. And personally, I hope to be able to be competitive and get results in races from say, the likes of Dirty Kanza, way up to the likes of the Tour of Spain, that would be really cool.”

“I think the most exciting thing is they [EF Education First] really see the untapped value that's sitting there in cycling. A lot of other sponsors haven’t really been able to tap into it. EF are really committed to growing it and in turn they'll grow the sport as a whole,” Morton said. 

EF Pro Cycling CEO  Jonathan Vaughters sees his team's future - if not pro road cycling altogether - in the diversity of cycling's disciplines and tapping in to the connections the team's riders enjoy, and espeically Morton's. 

“Lachlan’s return to the team is something we’ve been excited about for some time," Vaughters said.

"His climbing talent is quite clear, and his racing style can be very aggressive and fun to watch. I’m particularly keen on exploring some alternative races with Lachlan,”

“A couple of years back, he dropped into Leadville when we sent Joe Dombrowski. That’s the kind of stuff we’ll be doing more of, and Lachlan will be a key part of that. We haven’t nailed down the exact alternative program yet, but it’s going to be a fun way to get to the races and interact with different groups of fans and racers.”