Lachlan Morton and Keegan Swenson take on Cape Epic

The unlikely duo share their stories from South Africa’s great off-road stage race

March 17, 2023

From the 19th to the 26th of March, Lachlan Morton and Keegan Swenson will take on the world’s best mountain-bikers at Cape Epic, the closest thing that off-road bike racing has to the Tour de France.

Over eight days of racing, covering close to 700 kilometers of rugged terrain on South Africa’s Western Cape, they will scorch down rocky singletrack into deserted valleys and climb back over sandstone mountains under the blazing African sun. They will tear through the vineyards that deck the coast and set out to prove that they can match anyone on their mountain bikes. And they will get to share the experience with the thousands of other bikers who make the trek to South Africa to do the race. No matter what happens, each stage will give Lachlan and Keegan a story to tell that night around the campfire — and right here — and to share for the rest of their lives.

“Racing with Keegan is going to be awesome,” Lachlan says. “He is probably the strongest and most experienced partner I am ever going to get for this race. When he asked me if I was interested in doing it, I had to think about it, because I was worried I was not going to be on his level. Then, I realized that I had a few months to focus and get ready to test myself against the world’s best mountain bikers. It is kind of a daunting prospect, but the fact that I was scared about it, and am nervous about it, means that it is a worthwhile thing to take on.”

“I think that Lachlan and I have a good chance of a good result down there at Cape Epic,” Keegan says. “I have looked up to Lachlan as a rider for a long time. He has done some really cool things in the sport, and it has been good to see what he has done in his transition from racing WorldTour to then racing ultra-endurance stuff to then coming back to racing the Lifetime series last year. We have got to become pretty good friends. Lachlan brings a lot of good tactical advice and tactical race smarts from the road and has been doing a fair bit of mountain biking. I think he brings a lot to the table. I have been racing mountain bikes for a bit longer, so I can help push the pace on the descents and set a good tempo for us when it gets rough. It would be nice to try to win a stage or two and go for the GC. We are going to have a good time. We are going to make a good team out there.”

Check back here for Lachlan and Keegan’s tales from each stage.

Prologue: Meerendal Wine Estate to Meerendal Wine Estate

Distance 27km | Climbing 750m

Result: 14th

“It is nice to be back. I love this race. It is big... and epic. Today was good. It went relatively smoothly, and we went fast enough to stay within striking distance of the front.” - Keegan Swenson

“It is nice to have the race underway and it is going to be an exciting week of racing. Today went well. It was a nice little intro to what is going to be a huge week, but so far, so good.” -Lachlan Morton

Stage One: Hermanus to Hermanus

Distance 98km | Climbing 2550m

Result: 19th

"Today was windy... Pretty good, rough and chundery out there. Wasn't the best day but we did alright, got to the finish and tomorrow's a new day." - Keegan Swenson

"Today was a good day, windy. I was dragging a bit today but hopefully tomorrow goes a bit better." - Lachlan Morton

Stage Two: Hermanus to Hermanus

Distance 116km | Climbing 1850m

Stage Three: Hermanus to Oak Valley Estate

Distance 100km | Climbing 2300m

Stage Four: Oak Valley Estate to Oak Valley Estate

Distance 47km | Climbing 875m

Stage Five: Oak Valley Estate to Lourensford Wine Estate

Distance 102km | Climbing 2450m

Stage Six: Lourensford Wine Estate to Lourensford Wine Estate

Distance 78km | Climbing 2300m

Stage Seven: Lourensford Wine Estate to Vale de Vie Estate

Distance 80km | Climbing 2400m

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