A Stunning Tour de France: Lachlan Morton’s Subtour


The commercial side of Morton’s journey mirrored the original Tour as much as his return to the days of solo racing. In 1903, faced with a dwindling readership and strong competition, the French newspaper L’Auto created the Tour – a protracted spectacle of grotesque dimensions – as a way to increase its circulation. The brutality of the race proved irresistible for the spectators. Over 400 kilometers in length, it was the first stage race of road cycling and was competed not only by professional cyclists but also by carpenters, blacksmiths and teachers. (This year, the longest stage is just under 250 kilometers.) In the pages of L’Auto, whose circulation more than doubled in the first race, this drama was reflected in the photos of the competitors like Léon Georget who were so exhausted. He passed out on a roadside after stopping to fix his bike.

The same kind of struggle was evident to those who followed Morton’s suffering in the following ways. Rapha’s Instagram feed. A week into the bottom round, she had moved from nursing blisters to fending off her trench foot. His performance in the Alps was hampered by the weight of his camping gear, and his tires punctured so badly that he eventually had to tie a knot in a tube to keep going.

Against the backdrop of a map of France, the rider appeared as a pink dot and slowly blended into the terrain.

What makes the Tour de France and the alternative version of Morton so appealing, of course, is more than just the promise of pain and victory. Many bike races are tough enough to push riders into a zombie-like state of misery, but with the exception of the Tour, none have surpassed the sport itself in 108 editions. According to the French literary theorist Roland Barthes, one reason for this has to do with the role of the Tour in re-establishing the country’s “material unity” each summer. The race takes place in the world, not in a stadium, and their rivals, however briefly, become a part of every community they pass through, gradually connecting the land to a national whole. “It has been said that the French are not very geographers,” Barthes said. Wrote in 1960. “His geography is not the geography of the books, but the geography of the Tour; He knows the length of its shores and the height of its mountains through the Tour every year.”

Thanks to Morton, years after doping scandals took me away from cycling, I rediscovered the length of those shores and the height of those mountains. also sub tour websiteIts geographic progress can be monitored in real time. The experience was incredibly fascinating: against the backdrop of a map of France, the rider emerged as a pink dot and slowly blended into the terrain. Some of the trails behind it were a black dot that represented the advancing Tour de France peloton that Morton managed to leave behind – a new experience for the journeyman rider. (Normally, he would be in the service of a team leader, who is considered a contender to win the Tour, tasked with shielding him from the wind or bringing him water bottles.) Followers – a much needed buffer in the second half of his journey, amid steep mountains and 800km of losses in transfers. And finally, indeed, he reached Paris days before the peloton..


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