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Ashton Lambie explains why he’s not defending his IP title at the UCI Track World Championships

Reigning individual pursuit world champion content with his track legacy: 'There was nothing more to be done.'

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One big name missing from the upcoming UCI Track World Championships is Ashton Lambie.

The 31-year-old, who is the reigning individual pursuit world champion, will not be traveling to Paris this week to defend his stripes on the boards at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines track.

“When I crossed the finish line in Roubaix at the track world championships last year, it was possibly the first time I felt a deep, true sense of accomplishment,” Lambie wrote on Instagram. “For once, I’d actually done everything I could have done to affect the outcome of a particular challenge. There was nothing more to be done.

“That is why I’ve decided not to race at track worlds this year and pursue a different big goal instead.”

The overnight confirmation comes after Lambie already started to transition away from track racing last year.

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Lambie started to look at new horizons when the U.S. men’s team failed to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in the team pursuit. His favored event — the individual pursuit — was removed as an Olympic sport after the 2008 Games.

Before hanging up his track cleats, Lambie had plenty of unfinished business.

He smashed the world record for the IP, becoming the first rider to break the four-minute mark with a time of 3:59.93 in August last year in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Last October, Lambie won his first IP world crown in what was an emotional culmination in his personal journey across the boards in track racing that began six years ago.

With a time of 4:05.060, Lambie won the world title not held by an American male since Taylor Phinney in 2010 and pushed arch-rival Filippo Ganna into third place.

Lambie returned to his off-road roots in 2022, racing a mix of mountain biking and gravel races across the season.

“I’m content in that part of my life, and I’m really keen and excited to move out in new directions. That’s what I’m doing,” Lambie wrote overnight. “I feel refreshed, excited, and challenged in so many new ways. I’m fully focused on exciting new physical and mental challenges, but they won’t be realized on the boards of a velodrome this fall.

“There’s a season to everything, and it feels like the right thing to start a new chapter.”