Fastest individual pursuit times in history

The individual pursuit was the blue ribbon event of track cycling prior to the UCI dropping it from the Olympic program for the 2012 Olympics. In the 1990's Graeme Obree and Chris Boardman took the event to another level, and after a recent hiatus, riders are once again going faster and faster. Here's a list of the fastest times in the history of the men's event.

The individual pursuit may have been pulled from the Olympic Games but the track cycling competition over four kilometres is still contested at the UCI Track World Championships, National Championships, selected World Cup rounds and other international and national competitions.

In August 2018 American rider Ashton Lambie shaved three seconds off the previous world record time with an incredible 4:07.251 ride at the 2018 Pan American championships in Aguascalientes.

The Mexican track sits at 1,888m above sea level and regularly sees fast times set on its boards, but Lambie’s recent ride was blessed with near perfect conditions as several other US national records were set at the same competition.

2018 will be remembered as a stellar year for the individual pursuit with six of the ten fastest times set this year. Scot John Archibald became the fastest Brit in December with a 4-10 minute ride in Grenchen Switzerland, days after his HUUB-Wattbike team won the team pursuit at the London round of the world cup.

Other riders to set quick times in 2018 were Charlie Tanfield, Ivo Oliveira, Edison Bravo and Filippo Ganna.

Chris Boardman‘s famous Superman ride of 1996 still rides high near the top of the list. In the 22 years since Boardman’s 4.11 WR was set in Manchester velodome only Lambie, Bobridge and now Archibald have gone faster.

Australian Rohan Dennis and Brits Geraint Thomas and double Olympic pursuit champion Bradley Wiggins also feature on the list, although Thomas and Wiggins’s times are slipping further from the top.



Fastest 4000-metre individual pursuit times

4-07.251 WORLD RECORD
Ashton Lambie (USA)
Aguascalientes, Mexico, Pan American Championships 2018

4-07.456
Filippo Ganna (ITA)
Pruszkow, Poland. 2019 UCI track cycling world championships

4-09.091
Domenic Weinstein (GER)
Pruszkow, Poland. 2019 UCI track cycling world championships

4-09.584
John Archibald (HUUB Wattbike)
Manchester, UK. British track national championships 2019

4-10.177
John Archibald (HUUB Wattbike)
Grenchen, Switzerland, UCI international competition 2018

4-10.534
Jack Bobridge (Australia)
Sydney, Australian National Track Championships 2011

4-11.114*
Chris Boardman (Great Britain)
Manchester, World Championships final 1996

4-11.455
Charlie Tanfield (England)
Brisbane, Commonwealth Games 2018

4-11.764
Davide Plebani (ITA)
Pruszkow, Poland. 2019 UCI track cycling world championships

4-11.957
Alexander Evtushenko (RUS)
Pruszkow, Poland. 2019 UCI track cycling world championships

4-12.172
Jordan Kerby (Australia)
Hong Kong, China, World Championships, April 2017

4-12.253
Charlie Tanfield (Great Britain)
Minsk, Belarus, World Cup, January 2018

4-12.365
Ivo Oliveira (Portugal)
Apeldoorn, Netherlands, World Championships 2018

4-12.886
Ashton Lambie (USA)
Pruszkow, Poland. 2019 UCI track cycling world championships

4-13.007
Edison Bravo (Chile)
Aguascalientes, Mexico, Pan-Am Championships, October 2016

4-13.068
John Archibald (Scotland)
Brisbane, Commonwealth Games 2018

4-13.353*
Chris Boardman (Great Britain)
Manchester, World Championships 1996

4-13.399
Rohan Dennis (Australia)
Sydney, Australian National Track Championships 2011

4-13.448
Charlie Tanfield (Great Britain)
Portugal, Trofeu Internacional de Anadia, December 2017

4-13.453
Domenic Weinstein (Germany)
German National Championships 2017

4-13.607
Filippo Ganna (Italy)
Apeldoorn, Netherlands, World Championships 2018

4-13.662
Filippo Ganna (Italy)
Apeldoorn, Netherlands, World Championships 2018

4-13.786
Alexander Evtushenko (Russia)
Apeldoorn, Netherlands, World Championships 2018

* Set using the Superman position, which has been banned

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