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Relationship Between Anaerobic Cycling Tests and Mountain Bike Cross-Country Performance

Inoue, Allan; Sá Filho, Alberto S.; Mello, Fernanda C.M.; Santos, Tony M.

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318234eb89
Original Research

Abstract: Inoue, A, Sá Filho, AS, Mello, FCM, and Santos, TM. Relationship between anaerobic cycling tests and mountain bike cross-country performance. J Strength Cond Res 26(6): 1589–1593, 2012—Despite its apparent relevance, there is no evidence supporting the importance of anaerobic metabolism in Olympic crosscountry mountain biking (XCO). The purpose of this study was to examine the correlation between XCO race time and performance indicators of anaerobic power. Ten XCO riders (age: 28 ± 5 years; weight: 68.7 ± 7.7 kg; height: 177.9 ± 7.4 cm; estimated body fat: 5.7 ± 2.8%; estimated V[Combining Dot Above]O2max: 68.4 ± 5.7 ml·kg−1·min−1) participating in the Lagos Mountain Bike Championship (Brazil) completed 2 separate testing sessions before the race. In the first session, after anthropometric assessments were performed, the cyclists completed a single 30-second Wingate (WIN) test and an intermittent tests consisting of 5 × 30-second WIN tests (50% of the single WIN load) with 30 seconds of recovery between trials. In the second session, the riders performed a maximal incremental test. A significant correlation was found between race time and maximal power on the 5× WIN test (r = −0.79, IC95% −0.94 to −0.32, p = 0.006) and the mean average power on the 5× WIN test normalized by body mass (r = −0.63, IC95% −0.90 to −0.01, p = 0.048). The finding of the study supports the use of anaerobic tests for assessing mountain bikers participating in XCO competitions and suggests that anaerobic power is an important determinant of performance.

Author Information

1Physical Education Grad Program, Gama Filho University (UGF), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2Performance Laboratory, UGF, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

3Crossbridges Laboratory, UGF, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Address correspondence to Dr. Tony M. Santos,

Copyright © 2012 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.