Under promise and over deliver.
That’s what it’s about for Ashton Lambie.
Last summer he was a Category 4 cyclist, “the lowest level you can be and they’ll still allow you on the track,” as Lambie put it.
Today, the Waverly native is a member of Team USA and holds the fastest time ever in the Individual Pursuit event following an Aug. 31 race at the Pan-American Championships in Mexico.
The progression has many scratching their heads.
As the laps ticked by in the Pan-Am race, Lambie realized he was exceeding his planned pace by almost a second per lap.
In a race where he was shooting for a four minute, 13 second time, the seconds shaved start to add up.
“I’m banging out laps that are a second over pace and I’m thinking to myself ‘OK, well that’s one second, that’s two seconds,'” he said. “I think I had six or seven to go and that’s kind of when I started thinking, ‘OK, I think I might have a decent shot at the record here.'”
He finished in 4:07.25.
The previous world record had been 4:10.53.
“I didn’t think I would beat it by three seconds. I was floored by that,” he said.
Under promise. Over deliver.
After getting involved in gravel races out of college, he transitioned to the shorter competition of track racing.
Lambie entered the 2017 National Championships as a Category 4 cyclist. Then won the Individual Pursuit event. The 2.5-mile, 16-lap race is a relatively short endurance event that pits riders against the clock and each other.
“I was racing guys that were Category 1 and like smoking them. I’d win by a lot,” he said. “The director, Carl Sundquist, who’s a former Olympian, was like, ‘Uh, yeah, I think you need to go ahead and Cat up to 1. Why don’t you go ahead and do that when you get home.'”
For some, the meteoric rise might seem impossible, but for Lambie, it was truly a rapid consummation of the work and heart he invested over his years of cycling.
“I think having humility and always believing there is still upward mobility and staying focused on getting better is huge,” he said. “I think part of what makes me so accomplished is definitely not dwelling on the successes and using them as an opportunity to improve.”
One of the methods Lambie employs to prevent him from dwelling on success is a simple but significant one.
“I always give my dad all the paraphernalia from the rides or like race numbers, medals or jerseys that we get for winning,” he said. “I just personally don’t really like having that stuff around. I think it just makes it too easy to gloat.”