FORMER Port Macquarie cyclist Lachlan Morton has excelled in his first event on the world stage, with a good performance under his belt in the Santos Tour Down Under.
Riding for the Garmin Sharp team, Morton was sitting in a more than credible 30th place in the general classification in South Australia, ahead of the final stage.
That was a 90km jaunt around the streets of Adelaide.
Port Macquarie Cycling Club president Kevin Fletcher was thrilled with Morton’s progress.
Fletcher followed the tour closely, and saw Morton in action plenty of times.
“Every day,” he said when asked how often he’d watched the event.
“And I saw Lachie a fair bit.”
His team was out of contention on the final day, and Fletcher said he hardly saw Morton yesterday.
While he is still on a learning curve on his first year on the world tour, Fletcher said Morton had a big career ahead.
Fletcher saw Morton as a great climber of the future.
“I think he’ll be one of the blokes to look to in the mountains,” Fletcher said.
Morton had the right build to be successful in the hills, Fletcher said.
“He’s so lean. There’s nothing of him,” he said. “He’s built for climbing.”
His finish in the tour was remarkable, especially given Morton’s young age.
“To come 30th overall was very good. It’s a great performance,” Fletcher said.
Morton is the latest in a long line of talent to come from Port Macquarie.
Other riders doing well include Lauren Kitchen, who will ride in Europe this season. Fletcher said it reinforced the strength of the Port club’s coaching, particularly the work of Graham Seers.
“It’s great. We’ve produced a lot of outstanding juniors in the past 10 years,” he said.
“Graham Seers was a smart bike rider himself.”
The Port Macquarie club was looking at running another talent identification program this year, Fletcher said.