Josh Hartman Worlds Prep
Team USA

Josh Hartman and the Track Sprint Team Have Been Hard at Work Focusing on Worlds and the Olympic Games

By: Jim Rusnak  October 10, 2022

Josh Hartman won't sugarcoat it. This season has been rough. But the sprint team has been hard at work behind the scenes in preparation for Olympic qualifying next year, and it all starts with Track Worlds.

In January, he started a new program, moving to Los Angeles to train with the U.S. Sprint Track team under coach Erin Hartwell. It’s been a big transition, and Hartman says he and the U.S. men’s sprint program might not be exactly where they want to be right now, but he’ll take where they’re at.

“I’m happy with the improvements I’ve made in this short amount of time,” he said. “I’m happy with the direction the program’s going. I’m happy with my teammates – the group around me. Everyone’s super hard-working, motivating each other. It’s just a great environment. The program itself is new, so seeing a revamp in sprint after a long period of time, it just gives me hope. I’m super excited for the journey right now.”

So far this season, that journey has included a false start at the UCI Nation’s Cup race in May in Milton, Canada, and a fifth-place finish in the Team Sprint at the Pan American Championships in July.

“Nation’s cup was a bit of a disaster, because I false started,” Hartman said. “We had a bunch of issues with my pedals, and I got a bit nervous. That was my first race in a really long time. It didn’t go as I wanted, but I definitely learned from it, and one of the things I realized is, every race we’ve done so far, my level has gotten better and better.”

Hartman is hoping to take the momentum from the season to the 2022 UCI Track World Championships, Oct. 12-16 in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France. There, he will race in the team sprint with Evan Boone, Geneway Tang, and Dalton Walters.

The event will mark the highest level of competition of Hartman’s career. He recently took time to talk about Worlds—his goals and expectations—and the outlook for U.S. men’s sprint track cycling in the future.

What are your goals for Worlds, and what are you looking forward to most?

Hartman: To execute a solid ride with my teammates, to do a new personal best, learn from the experience and walk away knowing I gave it my all, and get ready for the next race coming up. I want to push myself and PR and keep raising my standards to the next level. It’s just another opportunity to go out there and show the world what I’ve got. That’s the biggest thing I’m looking forward to. I’m also looking forward to the experience. This is the first time for me doing such a big event. I’m looking forward to learning and challenging myself.

What three things need to happen to achieve your objectives at worlds?

Hartman: I’d say number one, be mentally prepared for what’s to come. Number two is control the controllables – all the things I can control. And three, I’d say, is just have fun—just remember not to put too much pressure on myself. I think those are three things that will help me execute. All the work has been done.

How will this race reflect the progress your team’s made since the beginning of the year?

Hartman: We’re in a building process, but it has been really fun. The environment has been great. I have a good group of teammates around me who are all pushing each other and raising the standards high and pushing the bar. That’s always good. I’ve seen improvements in my times since I started in January working with our new sprint coach [Erin Hartwell], so that’s always motivating when you see the progression. We’ve had good support. We’ve got the sponsorships here and great teammates. I love the environment, and I get to race my bike.

I feel like everyone watching is expecting us to go out and win, or medal or whatnot, but as of right now that’s not where we’re at as a whole. But we will get there.

What’s the future looking like for you and the team?

Hartman: After we come back from worlds, the plan is to have a solid training block—get stronger in the gym, get faster on the bike, and come out guns blazing for the first world cup in February. We’ll definitely be a lot stronger, faster and ready for the competition by then. After that it’s full gas, because next year is the start of Olympic qualification.

Watch the World Championships live starting on Wednesday.