Lachlan Morton is off to Kenya for the Migration Gravel Race
'Funding a bike team with a bike race is a really cool idea'
Lachlan Morton is heading back to Africa. The next stop on his journey to compete in the world’s great bike races is Kenya’s Migration Gravel Race. This one is close to his heart.
He first heard about the four-day, 650-km contest from his friend Kenneth Mungai, when the two were racing the Cape Epic in South Africa together last season. With over 8000 metres of high-altitude climbing over the rough roads of the savannah, it immediately captured his imagination.
“You have to come to Migration,” Kenneth said. “But watch out, because a dog in his backyard can kick you.”
Lachlan knows first hand just how strong Kenyan riders have grown.
For the past few years, he has been working with the AMANI Project, an organisation which strives to provide east African riders with opportunities to race bikes and overcome the challenges that they have long had to face in the sport. Earlier this year, Lachlan and his wife hosted a group of Kenyan riders for a camp near their house in Girona. On the bike, Lachlan was impressed by their skill and strength.
“They are all potential winners,” Lachlan says. “That has come through the hard work of the people involved. AMANI is the real deal. They are doing an incredible job at what they set out to achieve, so any way I can assist them I try to.”
This time, that means going to Kenya to race. Lachlan is certainly excited to explore the beautiful east African country, but he is also happy that doing so will also have a positive impact.
First and foremost, all of the money that this year’s Migration Gravel Race will generate will go directly to the AMANI project.
“Funding a bike team with a bike race is a really cool idea,” Lachlan says.
The Migration Gravel Race will also give local riders a chance to compete that they would not otherwise get.
“Racing with Kenneth at Cape Epic last year was a big eye opener as to the struggles that riders from his part of the world have to overcome,” Lachlan says. “The fact is that when you bring top level competition to Africa, you overcome a lot of the hurdles that they face, because visas aren’t an issue, costs are significantly less of an issue, environmental factors and experience are less of an issue. For them, an opportunity doesn’t necessarily have to look like trying to bring a rider somewhere they can’t go. It could be about bringing the competition there.”