On June 26, hours after the Tour de France got underway, Lachlan Morton followed with his own challenge – the Alt Tour.
Riding the same route, EF Education-Nippo cyclist Morton set out to complete the 21 stages – including the transfers – unsupported and beat the peloton to Paris. All while raising funds for World Bicycle Relief.
“We’re trying to celebrate the origins of the Tour (de France) and raise some money for a good cause,” Lachlan told NBC Sports during his Alt Tour challenge.
EF Education and Rapha came together to start the fundraising effort with $74,000 each and hoped to raise $250,000 to provide life-changing bicycles. Dot-watchers from across the globe quickly blew past that goal.
After 17 days on the road, camping at night and with no team bus in sight, Morton crossed the finish line a full five days before the peloton. And, with the help of thousands of supporters, the Alt Tour also raised more than $760,000 to mobilize thousands of people in need around the world with life-changing bicycles! In addition, a prize draw for the Cannondale bike used by Morton on the Alt Tour raised an additional $31,000 for World Bicycle Relief.
On May 19 and 20, 2022, World Bicycle Relief partnered with Morton and EF to deliver 156 bicycles to students in the rural San Pelayo municipality of the Mid-Sinu community in Cordoba, Colombia.
A further 304 bicycles funded through the Alt Tour were delivered to students in Colombia this week. The remainder of the funds will be used to mobilize thousands of students throughout all of World Bicycle Relief’s programs in Colombia as well as Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“It is a privilege to witness a bicycle distribution, especially with Lachlan,” says Andrew Wright, World Bicycle Country Director, Colombia. “You immediately see the power and energy of Colombian youth, and when partnered with a reliable bicycle and sturdy means of transportation, positive change follows. Add Lachlan’s mentorship and giving spirit—it’s one of our best days.”
Morton also visited World Bicycle Relief’s Barranquilla assembly facility, where local staff assemble and support distribution of specially designed Buffalo Bicycles, built to stand up to the rugged terrain where they’re used.
Morton and World Bicycle Relief have helped to empower thousands of people without access to transportation. Recent research shows that when students are coupled with a reliable bicycle, they are 19% more likely to complete their education.