Purpose: This study evaluated the power profile of a top 5 result achieved in World Tour cycling races of varying types, namely: flat sprint finish, semi-mountain race with a sprint finish, semi-mountain race with uphill finish, and mountain races (MT). Methods: Power output data from 33 professional cyclists were collected between 2012 and 2019. This large data set was filtered so that it only included top 5 finishes in World Tour races (18 participants and 177 races). Each of these top 5 finishes were subsequently classified as flat sprint finish, semi-mountain race with uphill finish, semi-mountain race with a sprint finish, and MT based on set criteria. Maximal mean power output (MMP) for a wide range of durations (5 s to 60 min), expressed in both absolute (in Watts) and relative terms (in Watts per kilogram), were assessed for each race type. Result: Short-duration power outputs (<60 s), both in relative and in absolute terms, are of higher importance to be successful in flat sprint finish and semimountain race with a sprint finish. Longer-duration power outputs (>= 3 min) are of higher importance to be successful in semimountain race with uphill finish and MT. In addition, relative power outputs of >10 minutes seem to be a key determining factor for success in MT. These race-type specific MMPs of importance (ie, short-duration MMPs for sprint finishes, longer-duration MMPs for races with more elevation gain) are performed at a wide range (80%-97%) of the cyclist's personal best MMP. Conclusions: This study shows that the relative importance of certain points on the power-duration spectrum varies with different race types and provides insight into benchmarks for achieving a result in a World Tour cycling race.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2022|
- power output
- professional cyclists
- EXERCISE INTENSITY
- PHYSICAL DEMANDS