Ashton Lambie has a countdown of two extra weeks till he strains up along with his new Jukebox Biking group for the opening off-road occasion within the Life Time Grand Prix collection, the Fuego MTB 80K at Sea Otter, with the Particular person Pursuit World Champion diving into the brand new foray of cross-country mountain biking after an action-packed construct up.
The Lincoln, Nebraska native received his begin on gravel and in endurance rides, however has lately made large statements on the observe. The 31-year-old set a world document as the primary bicycle owner to trip the 4000m in lower than 4 minutes, a feat he achieved in August final 12 months in Aguascalientes, Mexico. It was no shock that two months later he took the world title in the identical distance.
Since October his thoughts has been racing, perhaps extra so than his legs, at supersonic velocity to regulate to new environment and challenges associated to “gravelnaut” and astronaut life. He returns to being a “gravelnaut”, chosen as one among 30 elite males chosen for the Life Time Grand Prix Sequence, whereas his associate Christina Birch, herself an 11-time nationwide champion on the bike, focuses on a brand new profession path in area. She was invited to coach with NASA at Johnson Area Middle in October, in order that they packed and moved to Houston, Texas.
“I am a giant fan of driving round Houston, I am actually having fun with studying all the nice trails within the space,” Lambie instructed Cyclingnews. “I’ve received a loop to some flowy trails south of Houston lined up on the mountain bike truly. I am going to attempt to hit some tempo there and again, then get a loop or two on the gravel bike, and cease for a burrito on the best way again.”
Within the span of two months final 12 months, Lambie set the sub-four-minute mark, gained a rainbow jersey and realized Birch was chosen to coach as an astronaut. On his Instagram feed to begin this 12 months he stated, “I nonetheless should pinch myself typically that I received the sub 4:00 AND rainbows in the identical 12 months. I could not ask for a greater approach to finish it then in our new house of Houston, whereas Chris will get prepared for astronaut coaching, and I get again on some gravel.”
This season Lambie plans to focus extra on gravel racing along with his new group, whereas giving his observe bike a break. Again in 2016 he was second general at Gravel Worlds in Nebraska. In 2019 he gained the 100-mile race from Emporia, Kansas, now often known as Unbound Gravel. In 2021 he gained the 100-kilometre Icelandic journey at The Rift Race.
This season, Lambie’s gravel focus will embody the Life Time Grand Prix Sequence, and different occasions like Gravel Worlds. He began his gravel groove final month in Bakersfield, California within the Rock Cobbler, which he stated was a hit since he did not crash and simply had enjoyable.
A complete of 4 Jukebox Biking riders will participate within the six-race Life Time collection, which affords a $250,000 prize purse, equally break up between the 30 males and 30 ladies collaborating. Lining up at Fuego MTB 80K on April 9 in Monterey, California, with Lambie will likely be mountain biker Dylan Johnson and former roadies turned gravel specialists, Adam Roberge and Alexey Vermeulen.
“Could not be extra thrilled to line up with Ashton. Ashton is the most effective on the planet at what he does, and I am unable to wait to be taught from him. Hopefully, I may also help him somewhat on the rougher terrain,” Roberge, the defending champion of the ultimate collection occasion, Massive Sugar Gravel, stated of his new Jukebox teammate.
Lambie additionally hasn’t dominated out every other kind of racing, although in the mean time his important focus is on mountain bike expertise, which will likely be vital for the Grand Prix Sequence, which has three mountain bike occasions within the combine.
What’s his recreation plan for Fuego MTB 80K?
“No actual plans, besides to satisfy the remainder of the crew! I do know Phil [Gaimon] a bit, however have not met everybody else but. I am simply excited to satisfy other people enthusiastic about this challenge. All of us have such various backgrounds and objectives, and are actually simply enthusiastic about biking, so it’ll be an excellent season,” Lambie instructed Cyclingnews.
“I believe the construction that Jukebox Biking has, the place it’s a group and the riders can really feel linked, however on the similar time, have their very own sponsors and set their very own calendars, is a good mannequin for the biking world right this moment,” he added in a group assertion.
“It’s bringing the usual up. And as disciplines like gravel are rising, the group construction for biking generally goes to vary—the standard fashions simply don’t work anymore. I like that perhaps we can’t get every little thing proper the primary time, however that we’re on the forefront of this variation, and I simply love being part of that.”