Morton pleased with progress in 2013, would like to ride Vuelta a España next year
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Morton pleased with progress in 2013, would like to ride Vuelta a España next year

by Shane Stokes at 1:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Australian showed climbing ability in Utah and Colorado this season

Lachlan MortonWinner this year of a stage in the Tour of Utah and leader of both that race and the USA Pro Challenge, Lachlan Morton underlined both his climbing prowess and his potential in 2013.

The Australian Garmin Sharp rider is now hoping to step things up further next season and, turning 22 in February, knows that he should continue to gain strength with age.

“I can see the progress,” Morton told VeloNation, looking at how things went for him in 2013. “The last half of the season was good. I had a bit of trouble for the first half, just with injury and finding my feet, but it has been good. I had a couple of good rides in the US. It has been fun…I learned a lot.”

Morton underlined his class in 2010 when, at just eighteen years of age, he finished seventh overall in the Tour of Utah on restricted gearing. It was a stunning performance, and he followed that up the following year with second in the Cascade Classic, third in the Tour of the Gila and sixth in the Tour de Langkawi.

Last season also brought some solid results, but he’s also had his share of frustrations with injuries and periods where his form wasn’t as good as he hoped. Things seem to be coming together now, though, and his stage win, race leadership and eventual victory in the young rider classification in the Tour of Utah plus his leading of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and final placing of fifth overall have confirmed his ability.

He showed a fine climbing talent in both races and knows now he is on track.

“I just have to be patient with it,” he said, talking about his racing. “It is good to know that the legs are there if everything is right. It is encouraging and I am really motivated already for next season.”

Morton has one more year on his current deal with the Garmin-Sharp team and wants to clock up strong performances in order to secure a contract there or elsewhere.

He was originally due to end out his season with the Tour of Beijing but having crashed and suffered a concussion in Il Lombardia, his year ended early.

He will now take a break and then start building up again in Australia, riding the Santos Tour Down Under early on and then taking things from there. “I’ll have a short off season and then get back into it,” he explained.

If all goes to plan, he’d like to do a Grand Tour next season. However if that doesn’t happen then, he’s sanguine about waiting a little longer.

After all, at his age, time is on his side and taking things at the right pace is important.

“I think I would like to do one, for sure, but that is really up to the team,” he said, when asked about a three week race in 2014. “Really, in the end for me, it is a case of ‘when it comes, it comes.’

“I will just focus on whatever they went me to focus on. But it would be nice, I’d like to do the Vuelta. That makes sense to do as the first one of the three.”

It’s also a race that could suit him very well in terms of climbs. The route is yet to be announced but in terms of what the riders have faced in the last couple of years there, the race seems tailor made for climbing specialists like Morton.

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