Ashton Lambie Breaks the 4-Minute Barrier in 4,000-Meter Individual Pursuit

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Photo credit: NurPhoto - Getty Images
Photo credit: NurPhoto - Getty Images
  • Ashton Lambie became the first rider to break four minutes in the 4,000-meter individual pursuit, breaking the previous world record of 4:01.934.

  • Lambie set the world record at the velodrome in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and Christina Birch, an 11-time national track champion and Lambie’s partner, filmed the ride.

The cycling world held its breath on August 18 as Ashton Lambie attempted to break the four-minute barrier in the 4,000-meter individual pursuit—and succeeded.

The 30-year-old set a new world record with an unofficial time of 3:59.930, breaking Filippo Ganna’s previous record of 4:01.934.

Lambie rode at the velodrome in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where he first broke the record for the 4,000-meter individual pursuit on August 31, 2018. He went on to break the record twice again at the velodrome in Cochabamba, Bolivia, on September 6, 2019.

As was the case with running a sub-four-minute mile, it was once thought that breaking the four-minute mark in the 4,000-meter individual pursuit was impossible. Lambie just proved it’s not.

The historic ride was filmed by Christina Birch, an 11-time national track champion and Lambie’s partner, and broadcasted by his sponsor Zipp Speed through Instagram live. The replay is currently available to watch here.

Birch provided commentary throughout the ride and gave insight into Lambie’s preparation. What was his preride fuel of choice? Greek yogurt with locally-made granola. Lambie also raised his seat height prior to his record attempt—a potentially risky move right before such a big ride.

A Nebraska native, Lambie got his start in randonneuring, a kind of long-distance cycling, and gravel racing before setting his sights on track cycling—including an Unbound Gravel 100 win in 2019.

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