American Ashton Lambie set a world record in the individual pursuit on August 18, breaking the 4-minute barrier for the 4km effort at a velodrome at altitude in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Photographer Kit Karzen was there to document the effort, and his work is below.
Lambie wrote a Project Sub-4 column for VeloNews on his preparation for the attempt:
- Part 1: My journey to set a world individual pursuit record
- Part 2: Big watts in Big Sky Country
- Part 3: Wait, why are we going to Iceland?
- Part 4: Everything came together to break the world record, but I failed. I was devastated
- Part 5: ‘Just execute’ – The numbers and the aftermath of a world record
You should also check out the gallery on Lambie’s bike that our CyclingTips colleague Ronan McLaughlin assembled with Karzen’s photos.
Mechanic Carlos Rivas (in hat) completely disassembled Lambie’s bike for the UCI officials to inspect.
Dr Christina Birch, Lambie’s partner and an accomplished track racer, wipes down the high-pressure tubulars.
Lambie’s set-up consisted of thousands of dollars of specialized equipment.
A good-luck kiss before a world-record attempt.
Lambie laces up.
Lambie trained for the hot (and fast) conditions at Aguascalientes by doing intense trainer sessions in a big steel shed in Montana.
Lambie pulls on Vorteq aero booties. Vorteq is a British brand that specializes in aero clothing.
Lambie picked the high-and-hot Aguascalientes track for its fast conditions, and he and his team monitored temperature and air density on the days they were at the track.
Lambie’s high power and low aerodynamic drag are impressive numbers, but the one metric that matters comes from a clock.
Lambie and Birch have raced on many tracks around the world in elite competition. At Aguascalientes, there was no overarching competition — just one man and his sub-four-minute mission.
Lambie arranged the attempt with the UCI to make sure it would be validated.
Birch helps Lambie into his ultra-tight, ultra-fast Vorteq suit.
The start is a vital part of the individual pursuit that requires huge amounts of torque. Lambie’s 60+kph/37+mph average speed would be impressive if done from a flying start; he averaged that including a start from a dead stop. Next time you’re out on an open stretch of road, trying starting from a dead stop and accelerating to 60kph/37mph without shifting.
Lambie in full flight.
Brian Abers calls out time splits as Lambie blazes around the track.
Lambie had no other rider on track to chase, just the clock, and history.
There were no fans in the velodrome, just officials and Lambie’s support crew.
The world-record effort left Lambie shattered. Abers and Bob Beise help Lambie unzip his Vorteq gear.
Lambie recovers as the impact of the effort fades and the result sinks in.
And, with a few keystrokes of a UCI computer, the record was validated.
What does a world-record podium look like in Aguascalientes? Well, on the day, it looked like this.
Cheers, Lambie, on your new world record.