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Ashton Lambie adds Track Worlds individual pursuit gold to his 4km world record

Gold medallist Ashton Lambie of the US wears his rainbow jersey as world champion as he celebrates on the podium after victory in the mens Individual Pursuit final during the UCI Track Cycling World Championships at The JeanStablinski Velodrome in Roubaix northern France on October 22 2021 Photo by Denis Charlet AFP Photo by DENIS CHARLETAFP via Getty Images
Ashton Lambie (USA) celebrates with his gold medal after taking the individual pursuit title (Image credit: Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images)

Individual pursuit world record holder Ashton Lambie added a rainbow jersey in the discipline to his palmarès at the UCI Track World Championships in Roubaix on Friday.

The 30-year-old, who became the first man to break the four-minute barrier in the four-kilometre discipline in Mexico in August, topped the timing charts in the qualifying round to head to a final showdown against Italy's Jonathan Milan while Filippo Ganna and Switzerland's Claudio Imhof fought for bronze.

Having gotten the better of Milan by 2.548 seconds in qualifying, Lambie once again came out on top four hours later in the final. The margin of victory was smaller, but a ride of 4:05.060 was enough to bring the Nebraskan the gold medal as he beat Milan by 1:089 seconds.

"I went out with the same schedule," Lambie said of his winning ride after taking the win. "At the end of the day it's a race – the time doesn't matter and you're just racing against second place."

Lambie and Milan were barely separable at the midway mark after the Italian had edged ahead in the early laps. After 3,000 metres, the American was half a second ahead before pulling out his winning advantage over the final kilometres.

"With a [kilometre] and a half to go, I heard I was up by 0.4 [seconds]," Lambie said. "Then it kind of spread out the same way we raced the qualifiers, so it went according to plan. It was awesome."

The result marks a turnaround from last year's Worlds in Berlin, where Lambie faced off against Ganna in the final but was forced to settle for silver after riding a 4:08.048 to miss out by 4.163 seconds.

The rainbow jersey is Lambie's latest achievement in the cycling world. In 2018 and 2019 he set the individual pursuit world record on three occasions in Mexico and Bolivia, later losing it to Ganna before reclaiming it in August.

He has won American and Pan American titles in the discipline, too, while away from the smooth boards of the track he took victory the Unbound Gravel 100 in 2019.

"Speechless again," Lambie wrote in a post to Instagram on Friday. "It's been a long time coming but the magic of pumpkin spice season knows no bounds. It's coming home."

Daniel Ostanek

Daniel Ostanek has been a staff writer at Cyclingnews since August 2019, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later part-time production editor. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content on Cyclingnews and takes on live race text coverage throughout the season.

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Tro-Bro Léon, Strade Bianche, and the Vuelta a España.