Christopher Smith for The New York Times Ashton Lambie set a world record in individual pursuit 16 months ago. Winning was great, he said, but now he just wants to explore.
Sixteen months ago, Ashton Lambie hopped onto his bike in Roubaix, France, and cranked his way to a world championship in individual pursuit, a grueling, 16-lap sprint around a 250-meter banked wooden velodrome.
The victory — two months after he set the world record in the same event — placed him at the pinnacle of track cycling, a goal he had pursued for five years.
And that was enough for him. It was the last time Lambie, 33, raced in a velodrome. He felt accomplished after winning the world championship and had little desire to hang onto his place in the sport. He was also ready to be done with the training such high performance requires.
“The mental depth that you have to dig to, like, actually go really hard in those, it’s brutal,” Lambie said of individual pursuit events. “And I think it really takes a toll on me, oneself, and, it’s like you got to go to a pretty dark spot, man. I don’t have any desire to do that if I don’t need to.”
Since his world championship win in October 2021, Lambie has been redefining what success means for him, and that has made him a curiosity in cycling. Once, success meant winning races on gravel courses and setting world records on the track. Now, it means entering races […]
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