‘Lambo’ possesses a quiet resilience and focus on his burgeoning international career with a purpose that is laced with a willingness to learn, innate confidence in his own ability and a maturity that belies a young man just out of his teens.
“I know what I want to do and know what I have to do to get there,” Lambert said earlier this month. “It’s a matter of putting it together at the end.”
After breaking out of the Europa Cup circuit into World Cups last season, Lambert learned fast. His first World Cup result of 52nd was turned around in 24 hours to 7th in his second World Cup and ended last season with a sixth place in the World Championships.
The podium seemed not far away and that outcome was ticked off with a silver in last December at Val Thorens in France.
“It was pretty surreal,” he said of his first World Cup medal. “I’d raced on that course before and came in with a little bit of confidence. I felt it all day and made it to the finals.”
“Afterwards I was stoked. There’s always a twinge of ‘what if I’d done this’ but definitely it does heaps for my confidence knowing I can perform that well in a high-end event.”
Learning from his team mates, particularly Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, is valued by the young gun.
“Chumpy, especially, talks to me when I ask him about his path and how he got there. He tells me.”
“All the guys are fun to hang around with. They’re all really awesome blokes.”
“It helps that our sense of humour is pretty similar on the long drives we have to do every week, which is my least favourite part (the driving), but that’s OK. It’s just a really good group.”
Stepping up full-time onto the World Cup circuit has meant changes to his training, all of which he has embraced.
“The scale of training has changed. I’ve had a lot more on the courses. Before it was turns on mountains and now with these guys and the funding we have, we help organise the construction on the courses – a cost that is split with other countries.”
“Having the other guys (from OWIA) and NSWIS is great. We are all really good riders and it’s good to get out together to train. It all adds up. This is so much better.”
“This year there’s a lot more actual training time compared to last year. Last year we spent a lot of time driving from place to place. Every other day we were racing - having to squash Europa’s in. Not having to do that has knocked out about 16 races.”
“There are eight different locations that I don’t have to go to this year, which takes a lot of stress away and off my body. It’s good not to have to do that every week.”
Australia has a strong squad of riders in Snowboard Cross and only four can be selected for PyeongChang. Lambert is planning to be one of those four and already thinking about the Olympic course and how he can get the most out of the World Cup this weekend in Turkey before team selections are announced.
“It (Erzurum, Turkey) will be a good course and a copy of the Olympic start section.”
“I race my own race. I go into every race with a good plan with what I want to do and figure out the places I can consistently make passes. My tactical races are pretty good and I’m patient. I’m not rushing things.”
Coming from the NSW Snowy Mountains, Adam Lambert is not missing anything about a hot Australian summer. He is exactly where he wants to be.
“I’m a winter person. Anything above 32 degrees and I’m out.”
The Erzurum Snowboard Cross World Cup in Turkey qualifying round begin this Friday evening 6.30pm (AEDT) with finals on Saturday from 6.30pm (AEDT) and can be viewed live on Eurosport, or follow OWIA on Twitter here for updates on all the Aussies competing.