The Record Power Profile in Professional Female Cyclists: Normative Values Obtained From a Large Database

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: To describe the record power profile of professional female cyclists and to assess potential differences based on the type of rider. Methods: Power output data (32,028 files containing both training and competition sessions recorded) in 44 female professional cyclists during 1–6 years were analyzed. Cyclists were categorized as all-rounders, time trialists, climbers, or sprinters. The record power profile was calculated using the mean maximal power output (MMP) values attained by each cyclist for different-effort durations (5 s to 60 min) expressed in relative (W·kg−1), as well as absolute, power output (W). Results: Participants’ MMP averaged 15.3 (1.8) W·kg−1 for 5 seconds, 8.4 (0.8) W·kg−1 for 1 minute, 5.2 (0.5) W·kg−1 for 10 minutes, and 4.2 (0.4) W·kg−1 for 60 minutes. For short-duration efforts (5–30 s), sprinters attained the highest MMP results, with significantly higher relative (Hedges g = 1.40–2.31) or absolute (g = 4.48–8.06) values than the remainder of categories or climbers only, respectively. Time trialists attained the highest MMP for longer efforts, with higher relative values than both all-rounders and climbers when comparing efforts lasting 10 to 60 minutes (P < .05, g = 1.21–1.54). Conclusions: In professional female cyclists, the record power profile substantially differs based on the specific category of the rider. These findings provide unique insights into the physical capacities of female professional cyclists, as well as a benchmark for coaches and scientists aiming to identify talent in female cycling.

Mateo-March, Valenzuela, Lucia, and Barranco-Gil are with the Faculty of Sport Sciences, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain. Mateo-March is also with Sport Science Dept, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain. van Erp and Lamberts are with the Dept of Sport Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa. Muriel and Pallarés are with the Human Performance and Sports Science Laboratory, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain. Valenzuela is also with the Dept of Sport and Health, Spanish Agency for Health Protection in Sport, Madrid, Spain. Zabala is with the Dept of Physical Education & Sport, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain. Lucia is also with the Inst de Investigación Hospital 12 de Octubre (imas12), Grupo de Investigación en Actividad física y Salud (PaHerg), Madrid, Spain.

Barranco-Gil (david.barranco@universidadeuropea.es) is corresponding author.
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