Breaking the 4-minute barrier has historically been famous in sport from the moment Roger Bannister took the one mile run to 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. On Wednesday 18th August 2021 – at Aguascalientes velodrome in Mexico – Ashton Lambie became the first person to break the 4-minute barrier for the 4km Individual Pursuit. Read on to find out how Vorteq’s world-beating technology played a role in helping Ashton reach this historic landmark.
Physiologically, the Individual Pursuit is a real test of both aerobic and anaerobic power. It’s an incredibly uncomfortable time for the athlete to be spending at their limit, which is why the battle for the record has seen times creeping closer to the 4-minute mark without quite breaking through it. The closer we get to the limits of human performance, the harder it becomes to find even the finest margins of time, which is why Ashton’s effort in Mexico had to be carefully planned and perfectly executed.
Through our partnership with HUUB and the Fellowship of Speed, Ashton came to us to see what we could do to help him break the elusive 4-minute barrier.
Photo credit – https://www.kitkarzen.com/
Bespoke Fit: Ultimate Performance
The Vorteq custom-fit skinsuits have been spotted on the big stage at the Olympics recently in Tokyo, worn by a number of big nations and some of the fastest athletes in the world, picking up gold, silver and bronze medals in the velodrome.
This was partnered with our custom fit overshoes which had unprecedented success in Tokyo.
The start point for this project was understanding Ashton’s specific goals and the conditions he’d be attempting the record in. One of the key factors we had to account for was the fact that the attempt would be made at altitude where the air is thinner. The optimum suit for Ashton at sea level is not the same as at Altitude.
We used 3D scanning to capture and process a digital version of Ashton, which we could then use to create his skinsuit and overshoe patterns to perfectly fit his geometry. Our engineers were able to determine a specification for the suit (based on his speeds and conditions), which would determine the best fabrics to use.
Ashton crossed the line in a time of 3:59.93 and achieved what he set out to do – become a world record holder and the first athlete to break the 4-minute barrier.
Selecting the right equipment for Project 3:59 was a perfect example of the importance in understanding the requirements of a particular sporting race or event. At Vorteq, we have an uncompromising focus on measurable performance, which is why we’re able to produce the fastest performance wear in the world.
Vorteq products are engineered for the very highest levels and have now won medals in National/World championships as well as the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Inspired by these performances in sport, we’re now bringing the same innovation to non-elite athletes, helping to break personal records the same way we break world records.
We will follow up in the coming weeks, with more specifics and the science behind some of the technology.