Purpose: To describe the demand of recent World Cup (WC) races comparing top-10 (T10) and non-top-10 (N-T10) performances using power data. Methods: Race data were collected in 1-d World Cup races during the 2012–2015 road cycling seasons. Seven female cyclists completed 49 WC races, finishing 25 times in T10 and 24 times in N-T10. Peak power (1 s) and maximal mean power (MMP) for durations of 5, 10, 20, and 30 s and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 30, and 60 min expressed as power to weight ratio were analyzed in T10 and N-T10. The percentage of total race time spent at different power bands was compared between T10 and N-T10 using 0.75-W·kg−1 power bands, ranging from <0.75 to >7.50 W·kg−1. The number of efforts in which the power output remained above 7.50 W·kg−1 for at least 10 s was recorded. Results: MMPs were significantly higher in T10 than in N-T10, with a large effect size for durations between 10 s and 5 min. N-T10 spent more time in the 3.01- to 3.75-W·kg−1 power band when compared to T10 (P = .011); conversely, T10 spent more time in the 6.75- to 7.50- and >7.50-W·kg−1 power bands (P = .009 and .005, respectively) than N-T10. A significantly higher number of short and high-intensity efforts (≥10 s, >7.5 W·kg−1) was ridden by T10 than N-T10 (P = .002), specifically, 46 ± 20 and 30 ± 15 efforts for T10 and N-T10, respectively. Conclusions: The ability to ride at high intensity was determinant for successful road-cycling performances in WC races.
Menaspà is with the School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia. Sias and La Torre are with the Dept of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy. Bates is with the High Performance Unit, Cycling Australia, Melbourne, Australia.
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