Australian professional cyclist Lachlan Morton, whose ultra-endurance feats have benefited charities around the world over the years, is undertaking another epic ride Saturday to raise money in support of Ukrainian war refugees.
The 30-year-old rider for American team EF Education-EasyPost will depart from Munich on a nonstop, 1,063-kilometer odyssey that will carry him through the Czech Republic and Poland and ultimately to the Ukraine border at Krakovets.
Morton was inspired to undertake his latest ride while racing the Gran Camino in Spain. He was having breakfast with his Ukrainian teammate, Mark Padun, when news broke that Russia had invaded the country. Morton began poring over maps on the internet and thought to himself, “I could actually do this.”
“That made it hit closer to home, having a teammate who is directly impacted by it,” Morton said. “I found it hard to focus on trying to get ready for a race when something so significant was happening in the world.
“I’m a pretty optimistic person generally,” said Morton, a native of Port Macquarie in Australia’s New South Wales, “but in the past couple of weeks I’ve just felt that there has been very little to be excited about. It’s hard to get your head around. It’s surreal in a way. You watch the news and the news is so heavy that you almost disengage from it.”
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