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.

Jack Bobridge (Australia) currently holds the world record, although relatively unknown American  rider Ashton Lambie recently shaved three seconds off the time with an incredible 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 it’s boards, but Lambie’s recent ride was blessed with near perfect conditions as several other US national records were set at the same competition. The time of 4:07.251 is yet to be ratified as a world record but as it was set at a recognised international event this is just a formality.

Lambie’s amazing ride pushes Bobridge’s 2011 world record in to second place in our list of fastest times in what has been a stellar year for the event. Five of the fastest times have been set in 2018 with a host of other quick times posted by the likes of Charlie Tanfield, Ivo Oliveira, Edison Bravo, John Archibald 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 and Bobridge 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 (time not yet confirmed as a world record)
Ashton Lambie (USA)
Aguascalientes, Mexico, Pan American Championships 2018

4-10.534 World record
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

4-12.172
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

4-13.007
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

4-14.025
Charlie Tanfield (Great Britain)
Apeldoorn, Netherlands, World Championships 2018

4-14.2
Gavin Hoover (USA)
Aguascalientes, Mexico, Pan American Championships 2018

4-14.427
Jack Bobridge (Australia)
Adelaide, Australian National Track Championships qualifying 2010

4-14.570
Ivo Oliveira (Portugal)
Berlin, Germany, European Track Championships, October 2017

4-14.647
Filippo Ganna (Italy)
Hong Kong, China, World Championships, April 2017

4-14.742
Alexander Evtushenko (Russia)
Apeldoorn, Netherlands, World Championships 2018

4-14.845
Jack Bobridge (Australia) Commonwealth Games record
Delhi, Commonwealth Games qualifying, October 2010

4-14.914
Filippo Ganna (Italy)
Berlin, Germany, European Track Championships, October 2017

4-14.992
Stefan Küng (Switzerland)
Grenchen, Switzerland, European Track Championships, October 2015

4-14.994
Charlie Tanfield (Great Britain)
Glasgow, Glasgow Sprint Grand Prix, October 2017

4-15.002
Charlie Tanfield (Great Britain)
Grenchen, Switzerland, Track Cycling Challenge, December 2017

4-15.015
Geraint Thomas (Great Britain)
Manchester, World Cup, October 2009

4-15.031
Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)
Beijing, Olympic Games qualifying, August 2008

* Set using the Superman position, which has been banned