- The Balearic Islands offer European riders a winter training venue without freezing temperatures and snow.
- Menorca is one of the islands that embrace cyclists, looking to escape the frigid European riding conditions in February.It features some fantastic mountain biking. And one of the world’s most famous riders has set a record on Menorca’s challenging 185km mountain bike trail.
We might be indifferent to Australian cricketers and rugby players, but everyone likes Lachlan Morton.
The Australian pro rider is an outlier to most peloton stereotypes. In his teens, Morton started as a mountain biker and became a road racing pro - before specialising in gravel adventure and road endurance riding.
A rider who loves being on the bike
For Morton, riding is not a job. It’s what he does. And some of his ambitious rides, such as last year’s Alt Tour, prove that he rides for personal pleasure and humble self-expression.
Unlike many professional road riders, Morton has never disengaged from mountain biking. He completed last year’s Cape Epic, and on 18 February, Morton set a new Menorca mountain biking record.
Menorca's Camí de Cavalls trail is brutal, and Morton wanted to test himself against it. It follows Menorca’s topography for 185km, but the distance doesn’t reveal its real challenge.
The Camí de Cavalls include loose sand. Lots of rocks. And a lot of elevation. Morton’s goal was to ride it in ten hours. The previous record was set by Ismael Venture last year, with a time of 10 hours, 55 minutes and 8 seconds.
Climbing nearly four Table Mountains
After some practice rides with local mountain bikers, Morton set out on the Camí de Cavalls in ideal weather. The Australian was on a Cannondale Scalpel dual-suspension mountain bike and conquered 4013m of climbing along the 185km route.
For a frame of reference, the Camí de Cavalls is like riding two Cape Epic Queen stages in a day.
Morton managed to beat Venture’s Camí de Cavalls time by 43 minutes, finishing in 10 hours, 12 minutes and one second.