On the first floor of the of the Cascade Vail Resort, in the Study next to the bar, we meet with Lachlan Morton and conduct an interview. He is exceptionally soft spoken and super chill, he is forthcoming and easy and often when he’s thinking and talking at the same time he tilts his head to one side and repeatedly combs back his groovy locks. What follows is in his words.
It all started the last couple of weeks. I’m as surprised as anyone else. I didn’t know I’d be doing this well, I kept falling during the first half of the year. I broke my collarbone and I had a couple of concussions from falling. I got taken out by a motorbike in Sydney and then I got to Majorca and got run over by a car from behind, both during training. Then I got taken out by a tourist a couple of weeks later, right before the start of Romandie; I also had to move out of my apartment the night I got hit, I was all cut up and shit. A lot of German tourists come to Majorca, and when they see a pro, they want to race. So he was coming around me and he clipped my handlebars. He didn’t even stop, he just kept going. It was just a bad run.
So then, after that, I did California, and I wasn’t good. During the Tour de Suisse, I told my parents that if I didn’t get better, I would just go back to school or something. I got back from Switzerland and I was over it. My girlfriend flew in from Australia and we went on a road trip. We went to Moab, the Grand Canyon, then stayed in downtown LA for a few days, then went to Palm Springs and stayed at the The Ace Hotel. Then we went to Vegas, which was just like a last minute thing.
We were driving along, listening to the audio book of Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, she was asleep and I was like “Fuck it,” I drove us to Vegas and we stayed at Caesar’s for two days.
We went to a Wiz Khalifa concert in Vegas, it was fun. He had like ten guys on stage with him, and he was pouring gin into the audience, that kind of thing.
So then we came back and I trained pretty hard for a month. I found a coach I like. I’ve had coaches in the past, I had a really good one when I was a junior. Others haven’t worked out, but then I found a really good one in Ben Day. He gets it. He’s on United Healthcare. It’s funny, in Utah, when I was away, he had to chase me. And here, in stage two or something, he had to chase me again. He knows my numbers, but he’s pretty professional about it.
The plan this week was to ride for Tom, and based on what he did in Utah, he showed he deserved that. In hindsight, I think I could have ridden in the front yesterday.
After this (Colorado) we have a week off, and then we race in Alberta. It would be nice to get a result there for Ryder, since it’s more or less a home race for him. When the season is over I’ll go back to Sydney, but that’s not a good place to train since I live right in the city center. But then there’s training camp. My brother and I want to do this ride in Chile, it’s like 1200 km one way, on this highway that goes to Patagonia. I’ve been talking to a frame builder in Boulder, Mosaic, about doing a frame for it. It’s going to be like a mountain bike, but set up like a road bike. I’m also going to hang out with my girl friend, she’s in art school.
It’s hard to say what I would have done had I quit. My brother was a professional bike rider, now he works in film and TV. I was going to just kick around until the end of the year, and then figure out what it was going to be. Then go do something. People who get to this level, people who spend so much time suffering, are all a little bit crazy. When you’re in a room with just one guy it might be quiet. But then you get eight guys together. A guy like Zabriskie, a guy like Millar, it’s really funny. It’s a really strange mix of people that would never hang out together normally, but we’re all there, shooting the shit for hours in a team bus. It’s just really funny. The vibe in the team is really good, it’s a really good mix of different people.
My dad was big into motor racing, like cars. But we grew up with motorbikes. We first got motorbikes when I was like five I think. Then we were going to start go-kart racing, but our next door neighbors who we were close to, who had boys pretty much my age and my brother’s age—we were really competitive them—got go-karts first. And because our parents wanted to separate us out, if you know what I mean, we had to do something else. So we got mountain bikes and we did that for a while. Then we found out that there was a local cycling club, and then we got road bikes. It was a really strong club, the coach that was running it had been to the Olympics in Moscow.
Every Tuesday night a hundred people would show up for these crits and just we fell in love with racing bikes. We never got go-karts.