Assessment of bike handling during cycling individual time trials with a novel analytical technique adapted from motorcycle racing

A. Zignoli*, F. Biral, A. Fornasiero, D. Sanders, T. Van Erp, M. Mateo-March, F.Y. Fontana, P. Artuso, P. Menaspa, M. Quod, A. Giorgi, P.B. Laursen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


A methodology to study bike handling of cyclists during individual time trials (ITT) is presented. Lateral and longitudinal accelerations were estimated from GPS data of professional cyclists (n = 53) racing in two ITT of different length and technical content. Acceleration points were plotted on a plot (g-g diagram) and they were enclosed in an ellipse. A correlation analysis was conducted between the area of the ellipse and the final ITT ranking. It was hypothesised that a larger area was associated with a better performance. An analytical model for the bike-cyclist system dynamics was used to conduct a parametric analysis on the influence of riding position on the shape of the g-g diagram. A moderate (n = 27, r = -0.40, p = 0.038) and a very large (n = 26, r = -0.83, p < 0.0001) association were found between the area of the enclosing ellipse and the final ranking in the two ITT. Interestingly, this association was larger in the shorter race with higher technical content. The analytical model suggested that maximal decelerations are highly influenced by the cycling position, road slope and speed. This investigation, for the first time, explores a novel methodology that can provide insights into bike handling, a large unexplored area of cycling performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1355-1363
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Issue number9
Early online date1 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2022


  • Observational study
  • g-g plot
  • professional cycling
  • modelling
  • ROAD

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