Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2015) 14, 799 - 810

Research article
Physiological Demands of Simulated Off-Road Cycling Competition
Gerhard Smekal1, Serge P. von Duvillard2, , Maximilian Hörmandinger1, Roland Moll1, Mario Heller3, Rochus Pokan1, David W. Bacharach4, Linda M. LeMura5, Paul Arciero6
Author Information
1 Department of Sport Physiology, Institute of Sports Sciences, University of Vienna, Austria
2 Department of Sport Science and Kinesiology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
3 Section of Biomechanics, Kinesiology and Applied Computer Science, Institute of Sports Sciences, University of Vienna, Austria
4 Human Performance Laboratory, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA
5 Department of Biology, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, New York, USA
6 Department of Health and Exercise Sciences, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA

Serge P. von Duvillard
✉ Department of Sport Science and Kinesiology, University of Salzburg, Rifer Schlossallee 49, A-5400 Hallein/Rif, Austria
Publish Date
Received: 11-03-2015
Accepted: 28-09-2015
Published (online): 24-11-2015
Share this article

The purpose of the study was to measure the demands of off-road cycling via portable spirometry, leg-power output (PO), heart rate (HR) and blood lactate (BLa) concentration. Twenty-four male competitive cyclists (age: 29±7.2 yrs, height: 1.79 ± 0.05 m, body mass: 70.0 ± 4.9 kg, VO2peak: 64.9 ± 7.5 ml·kg-1·min-1) performed simulated mountain bike competitions (COMP) and laboratory tests (LabT). From LabT, we determined maximal workload and first and second ventilatory thresholds (VT1, VT2). A high-performance athlete (HPA) was used for comparison with three groups of subjects with different sport-specific performance levels. Load profiles of COMP were also investigated during uphill, flat and downhill cycling. During the COMP, athletes achieved a mean oxygen uptake (VO2COMP) of 57.0 ± 6.8 ml·kg-1·min-1 vs. 71.1 ml·kg-1·min-1 for the HPA. The POCOMP was 2.66±0.43 W·kg-1 and 3.52 W·kg-1 for the HPA. POCOMP, VO2COMP and HRCOMP were compared to corresponding variables at the VT2 of LabT. LabT variables correlated with racing time (RTCOMP) and POCOMP (p < 0.01 to <0.001; r-0.59 to -0.80). The VO2peak (LabT) accounted for 65% of variance of a single COMP test. VO2COMP, POCOMP and also endurance variables measured from LabTs were found as important determinants for cross-country performance. The high average VO2COMP indicates that a high aerobic capacity is a prerequisite for successful COMP. Findings derived from respiratory gas measures during COMPs might be useful when designing mountain bike specific training.

Key words: Off-road cycling, mountain biking, oxygen uptake, power output, lactate, heart rate

           Key Points
  • Cross- country cycling is characterized by high oxygen costs due to the high muscle mass simultaneously working to fulfill the demands of this kind of sports.
  • Heart rate and blood lactate concentration measures are not sensitive enough to assess the energy requirements of COMP. Therefore, respiratory gas and power output measures are helpful to provide new information to physiological profile of cross- country cycling.
  • An excellent cycling-specific capacity is a prerequisite for successful off-road cycling.
  • Data determined from LabT might be utilized to describe semi-specific abilities of MB- athletes on a cycle ergometer, while data originating from COMP might be useful when designing a mountain bike specific training.
Home Issues About Authors
Contact Current Editorial board Authors instructions
Email alerts In Press Mission For Reviewers
Archive Scope
Supplements Statistics
Most Read Articles
  Most Cited Articles
JSSM | Copyright 2001-2020 | All rights reserved. | LEGAL NOTICES | Publisher

It is forbidden the total or partial reproduction of this web site and the published materials, the treatment of its database, any kind of transition and for any means, either electronic, mechanic or other methods, without the previous written permission of the JSSM.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.