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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 March;60(3):367-73

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.19.10196-X

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Physiological demands and characteristics of the participants in a cycling sportive event

Sebastian SITKO 1, Isaac LÓPEZ LAVAL 1 , Rafel CIRER-SASTRE 2, Francisco CORBI 2, Julio CALLEJA-GONZÁLEZ 3

1 Faculty of Health and Sport Science, University of Zaragoza, Huesca, Spain; 2 Institut Nacional d’Educació Física de Catalunya (INEFC), Universitat de Lleida (UdL), Lleida, Spain; 3 Laboratory of Analysis of Sports Performance, Sport Section, Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Education, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Vitoria, Spain



BACKGROUND: Cycling sportives have become increasingly popular in the last years. With over 11,000 participants, the Quebrantahuesos (Qh), is one of the most prominent cycling events in Europe and its ever-growing competitive nature has increased the physiological demands required to obtain a great result. The objectives of the current study were to determine the relationship between the power profile and the result in the event as well as to describe the physiological differences among subgroups of participants according to their result.
METHODS: Ninety-one male cyclists took part in the study. Data regarding weight, height, experience and training volume were collected before the event. The raw data from the power meter used by the participants during the event’s four climbs was sent to the researchers as an Excel file. Participants were then divided in three different groups according to their performance. One-way analysis of variance was performed to assess differences between groups. Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient was used to assess for associations among performance and/or anthropometric data.
RESULTS: Group differences were found in body weight (P<0.001), body mass index (P<0.001), training volume (P<0.001) and previous participations in the event (P<0.001). A very high negative correlation between relative power during the climbs and the final time was also observed (r>-0.92; P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Better performances were associated to lower body weight and body mass index and higher training volume, relative power and experience. The current study provides data that suggest that as long as the average relative power is sustained, the pacing strategy throughout the different climbs does not affect the race outcome. This information could be used by cyclists and coaches when preparing the pacing strategy for the event.


KEY WORDS: Bicycling; Exercise test; Athletic performance

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