Physiological Correlates of Cycling Performance in Amateur Mountain Bikers
Research background and hypothesis. Aerobic fitness of high-performance mountain bikers explains about 40%
of variance in performance. This suggests that other factors such as anaerobic power and capacity as well as technical
abilities need to be considered in the physiological assessment (Impellizzeri et al., 2005 a). We found a lot studies
investigating track and road cyclists, but there are no studies concerning the relationship between physiological tests
and cycling performance in Lithuanian mountain bikers.
The aim of this study was to investigate the physiological correlates of cycling performance in amateur mountain
Research methods. Fifteen Lithuanian mountain bikers participated in the study. The 10-second test was
performed to estimate special alactic anaerobic power output, whereas ae 30-second Wingate test was performed to
estimate composite alactic anaerobic glycolytic power output. For the evaluation of the aerobic capacity, a progressive
incremental laboratory cycling test to exhaustion was performed.
Research results. We found a significant negative correlation between cycling performance and alactic anaerobic
relative peak power output (r = –0.534, p < 0.05) and lactate concentration after the progressive incremental
cycling test to exhaustion (r = –0.625, p < 0.05). However, we did not find a significant correlation between
cycling performance and VO 2 max (r = –0.024, p > 0.05) and composite alactic anaerobic glycolytic power output
(r = –0.269, p > 0.05).
Discussion and conclusions. Our findings suggest that alactic anaerobic power output and active glycolysis play
a very important role in off-road cycling performance. This is essential because of the fast starting phase of the race
and steep climbs.
Keywords: mountain bike, cycling, performance, power output, maximal oxygen uptake.
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