A contemporary variable power cycling protocol to discriminate race-specific performance ability

Avish Sharma, David Bentley, Gaizka Mejuto, Naroa Etxebarria

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Purpose: Traditional physiological testing and monitoring tools have restricted ability to capture parameters that best relate to cycling performance under variable intensity race demands. This study examined the validity of a 1-h variable cycling test (VCT) to discriminate between different performance-level cyclists. Methods: Ten male national-and 13 club-level cyclists (body mass, 67 [9Q 1 ] and 79 [6] kg; peak power output, 359 [43] and 362 [21] W, respectively) completed a VO2 max test and two 1-h VCT protocols in 3 separate occasions. The VCT consisted of 10×6-min segments containing prescribed (3.5 W·kg−1) and open-ended phases. The open-ended phases consisted of 4×30 to 40 s of “recovery,” 3×10 s at “hard” intensity, and 3×6-s “sprint”with a final 10-s“all-out”effort. Results: Power Q 2 output for the 6- and 10-s phases was moderately higher for the national compared with club-level cyclists (mean [SD]: 10.4 [1.97] vs 8.6 [1.6] W·kg−1, effect size; ±90% confidence limits=−0.87; ±0.65 and mean [SD]: 7.5 [0.7] vs 6.2 [1.0] W·kg−1, effect size; ±90% confidence limits=−1.24; ±0.66, respectively). Power output for the final 10-s “all-out” sprint was 15.4 (1.5) for the national- versus 13.2 (1.9) W·kg−1 for club-level cyclists. Conclusion: The 1-hVCT can successfully differentiate repeat high-intensity effort performance between higher caliber cyclists and their lower performing counterparts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1309-1314
    Number of pages6
    JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


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