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Physiological and biomechanical factors associated with elite endurance cycling performance.
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991 Jan; 23(1):93-107.MS

Abstract

In this study we evaluated the physiological and biomechanical responses of "elite-national class" (i.e., group 1; N = 9) and "good-state class" (i.e., group 2; N = 6) cyclists while they simulated a 40 km time-trial in the laboratory by cycling on an ergometer for 1 h at their highest power output. Actual road racing 40 km time-trial performance was highly correlated with average absolute power during the 1 h laboratory performance test (r = -0.88; P less than 0.001). In turn, 1 h power output was related to each cyclists' VO2 at the blood lactate threshold (r = 0.93; P less than 0.001). Group 1 was not different from group 2 regarding VO2max (approximately 70 ml.kg-1.min-1 and 5.01 l.min-1) or lean body weight. However, group 1 bicycled 40 km on the road 10% faster than group 2 (P less than 0.05; 54 vs 60 min). Additionally, group 1 was able to generate 11% more power during the 1 h performance test than group 2 (P less than 0.05), and they averaged 90 +/- 1% VO2max compared with 86 +/- 2% VO2max in group 2 (P = 0.06). The higher performance power output of group 1 was produced primarily by generating higher peak torques about the center of the crank by applying larger vertical forces to the crank arm during the cycling downstroke. Compared with group 2, group 1 also produced higher peak torques and vertical forces during the downstroke even when cycling at the same absolute work rate as group 2. Factors possibly contributing to the ability of group 1 to produce higher "downstroke power" are a greater percentage of Type I muscle fibers (P less than 0.05) and a 23% greater (P less than 0.05) muscle capillary density compared with group 2. We have also observed a strong relationship between years of endurance training and percent Type I muscle fibers (r = 0.75; P less than 0.001). It appears that "elite-national class" cyclists have the ability to generate higher "downstroke power", possibly as a result of muscular adaptations stimulated by more years of endurance training.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas, Austin 78712.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

1997818

Citation

Coyle, E F., et al. "Physiological and Biomechanical Factors Associated With Elite Endurance Cycling Performance." Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 23, no. 1, 1991, pp. 93-107.
Coyle EF, Feltner ME, Kautz SA, et al. Physiological and biomechanical factors associated with elite endurance cycling performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991;23(1):93-107.
Coyle, E. F., Feltner, M. E., Kautz, S. A., Hamilton, M. T., Montain, S. J., Baylor, A. M., Abraham, L. D., & Petrek, G. W. (1991). Physiological and biomechanical factors associated with elite endurance cycling performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 23(1), 93-107.
Coyle EF, et al. Physiological and Biomechanical Factors Associated With Elite Endurance Cycling Performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991;23(1):93-107. PubMed PMID: 1997818.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Physiological and biomechanical factors associated with elite endurance cycling performance. AU - Coyle,E F, AU - Feltner,M E, AU - Kautz,S A, AU - Hamilton,M T, AU - Montain,S J, AU - Baylor,A M, AU - Abraham,L D, AU - Petrek,G W, PY - 1991/1/1/pubmed PY - 1991/1/1/medline PY - 1991/1/1/entrez SP - 93 EP - 107 JF - Medicine and science in sports and exercise JO - Med Sci Sports Exerc VL - 23 IS - 1 N2 - In this study we evaluated the physiological and biomechanical responses of "elite-national class" (i.e., group 1; N = 9) and "good-state class" (i.e., group 2; N = 6) cyclists while they simulated a 40 km time-trial in the laboratory by cycling on an ergometer for 1 h at their highest power output. Actual road racing 40 km time-trial performance was highly correlated with average absolute power during the 1 h laboratory performance test (r = -0.88; P less than 0.001). In turn, 1 h power output was related to each cyclists' VO2 at the blood lactate threshold (r = 0.93; P less than 0.001). Group 1 was not different from group 2 regarding VO2max (approximately 70 ml.kg-1.min-1 and 5.01 l.min-1) or lean body weight. However, group 1 bicycled 40 km on the road 10% faster than group 2 (P less than 0.05; 54 vs 60 min). Additionally, group 1 was able to generate 11% more power during the 1 h performance test than group 2 (P less than 0.05), and they averaged 90 +/- 1% VO2max compared with 86 +/- 2% VO2max in group 2 (P = 0.06). The higher performance power output of group 1 was produced primarily by generating higher peak torques about the center of the crank by applying larger vertical forces to the crank arm during the cycling downstroke. Compared with group 2, group 1 also produced higher peak torques and vertical forces during the downstroke even when cycling at the same absolute work rate as group 2. Factors possibly contributing to the ability of group 1 to produce higher "downstroke power" are a greater percentage of Type I muscle fibers (P less than 0.05) and a 23% greater (P less than 0.05) muscle capillary density compared with group 2. We have also observed a strong relationship between years of endurance training and percent Type I muscle fibers (r = 0.75; P less than 0.001). It appears that "elite-national class" cyclists have the ability to generate higher "downstroke power", possibly as a result of muscular adaptations stimulated by more years of endurance training. SN - 0195-9131 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/1997818/Physiological_and_biomechanical_factors_associated_with_elite_endurance_cycling_performance_ L2 - https://journals.lww.com/1997818.pmid DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -