“I’m having a lot of fun out there. It's a cool community of people that…
The Vuelta a España usually marks the end of stage racing for WorldTour teams. As the cycling season enters fall and starts to get ready for winter and the off season, one day races take over the calendar. But Alex and Lachlan are set to pick up stage racing again, and this time they will be trading out their road bikes for their mountain bikes at the Pikes Peak Apex.
Set on the flanks of the Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, the four-day mountain bike race features some of the best and most beautiful trails the area has to offer, all set at an altitude of over 7,000-feet (2,100-meters). The course will include dirt roads, jeep trails, and amazing alpine singletrack around one of America’s most famed mountains.
Pikes Peak, or Tava as it is called by the native Ute population, has long captured the minds of poets, adventurers and explorers alike. Now the Pikes Peak Apex organizers have created a world class mountain bike race that seeks to “improve the trails and open space in the Pikes Peak region for the lasting enjoyment of its residents and visitors.”
Since they got back from Europe, Alex and Lachlan have been enjoying time in their home state, exploring the trails and taking part in gravel and mountain bike events in the area. Last month, they both tackled the Leadville 100 mountain bike race, and Lachy competed in the Breck Epic – another mountain bike stage race – while Alex went on to the SBT GRVL – which he won. And while this race will be another opportunity for them to do some more racing on home soil, it will also be a chance to prepare for Cape Epic – an 8-day team mountain bike event in South Africa in October.
Hear from Alex and Lachlan as they get ready to tackle the Apex September 23-26.
You’ve been doing quite a few home races lately. How does it feel to be racing in Colorado on home roads again?
Lachlan Morton: It’s really fun. There’s something special about throwing the bike in the car and driving to a race. The local scene is on the comeback and I think it’s really important to support every local event possible. The competition is always fierce but the atmosphere is warm and fun.
Alex Howes: Racing close to home is always special. Having friends and family at the races always lifts the spirit and adds so much motivation. It’s an added bonus that we live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.
Why are you doing the event? How is this going to help you in your preparation for Cape Epic?
Lachlan Morton: The Apex gives us a chance to dial in our equipment, skills and form before Cape Epic. The multi-day format and tough stages are as close to the epic as we can get locally. But really it’s just going to be a bunch of fun racing hard with Howsey and I’d be doing it even if we weren’t heading to South Africa.
Alex Howes: Racing the Apex is a great opportunity to race against some top talent in an MTB stage race format. It’s a big bonus that is close to home. The goal is to gain experience here and learn and improve as we move closer to Cape Epic. I think for Lachy and I, the more time we spend racing mountain bikes, the more we realize how much we have to learn. At this point, it’s crunch time for Cape Epic preparations so the more time we can spend racing, the better.
What stage are you looking forward to?
Lachlan Morton: It’s all new to me which is really exciting. I’ve never mountain biked in the area, so we’ll be flying blind but that always adds to the excitement and ultimately it’s a skill we will need in South Africa.
Alex Howes: I’ve never ridden any of the trails that we’ll be racing on and I’m really looking forward to checking them out. Palmer Park in particular looks to have some really fun terrain.