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Gazzetta Medica Italiana - Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2020 September;179(9):489-95

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.19.04115-9


language: English

The anthropometric profile of Italian elite cyclists

Patrizio RIPARI 1, Joan VICIANO 2, Matteo MAZZIA 1, Mario PASQUALI 1, Giorgia DI DOMIZIO 1, Simona RUGGIERI 1, Ruggero D’ANASTASIO 2, 3

1 Sports Medicine University Center, University “G. d’Annunzio” Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy; 2 Operative Unit of Anthropology, Department of Medicine and Aging Sciences, University “G. d’Annunzio” Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy; 3 Associazione Sportiva Dilettantistica Filippide Montesilvano, Montesilvano, Pescara, Italy

BACKGROUND: For an elite athlete an optimal body composition is essential for achieving excellent performance and reducing the risk of injury. This is especially true in endurance sports, such as road cycling. Limited anthropometric data are available on élite cyclists. Here we show the anthropometric profile of elite road cyclists that partecipated to the Giro d’Italia in 2015 and their body composition adaptations during the precompetition training phase.
METHODS: The sample consisted of N. 12 male elite road cyclists, that were included in three different groups: sprinters (N. 4), climbers (N. 2), and flat terrain riders (N. 6). We recorded the following anthropometric measurements for each cyclist: stature (H), weight (W), Total Body Water (TBW), Extracellular Water (ECW), Intracellular Water (ICW), Free Fat Mass (FFM), Body Cellular Mass (BCM), Muscular Mass (MM), Fat Mass (FM), Extracellular Mass (ECM), Body Cell Mass Index (BCMI) and Body Mass Index (BMI).
RESULTS: The climbers were the highest and the lightest among cyclists. Climbers and flat terrain specialists showed significantly differences for FM (climbers: 8.50 kg±0.141; sprinters: 12.87 kg±2.195) and BMI (climbers: 20.25±1.061: sprinters: 25.30±1.169). W, FFM, MM and BMI were significantly higher in sprinter than in flat terrain riders. During the two months training period, the only one group that showed anthropometric adaptations were the flat terrain riders.
CONCLUSIONS: Anthropometric differences between cycling roles emerged: mostly sprinters were characterized by the greater W and MM, while the climbers were the lightest atheltes. Further studies on larger samples are required.

KEY WORDS: Body composition; Electric impedance; Bicycling

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