The Record Power Profile of Male Professional Cyclists: Fatigue Matters

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: The present study aimed to determine the influence of fatigue on the record power profile of professional male cyclists. We also assessed whether fatigue could differently affect cyclists of 2 competition categories. Methods: We analyzed the record power profile in 112 professional cyclists (n = 46 and n = 66 in the ProTeam [PT] and WorldTour [WT] category, respectively; age 29 [6] y, 8 [5] y experience in the professional category) during 2013–2021 (8 [5] seasons/cyclist). We analyzed their mean maximal power (MMP) values for efforts lasting 10 seconds to 120 minutes with no fatigue (after 0 kJ·kg−1) and with increasing levels of fatigue (after 15, 25, 35, and 45 kJ·kg−1). Results: A significant (P < .001) and progressive deterioration of all MMP values was observed from the lowest levels of fatigue assessed (ie, −1.6% to −3.0% decline after 15 kJ·kg−1, and −6.0% to −9.7% after 45 kJ·kg−1). Compared with WT, PT cyclists showed a greater decay of MMP values under fatigue conditions (P < .001), and these differences increased with accumulating levels of fatigue (decay of −1.8 to −2.9% [WT] with reference to 0 kJ·kg−1 vs −1.1% to −4.4% [PT] after 15 kJ·kg−1 and of −4.7% to −8.8% [WT] vs −7.6% to −11.6% [PT] after 45 kJ·kg−1). No consistent differences were found between WT and PT cyclists in MMP values assessed in nonfatigue conditions (after 0 kJ·kg−1), but WT cyclists attained significantly higher MMP values with accumulating levels of fatigue, particularly for long-duration efforts (≥5 min). Conclusions: Our findings highlight the importance of considering fatigue when assessing the record power profile of endurance athletes and support the ability to attenuate fatigue-induced decline in MMP values as a determinant of endurance performance.

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 the Sport Science Dept, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain. Valenzuela is also with the Dept of Sport and Health, Spanish Agency for Health Protection in Sport, Madrid, Spain. Muriel and Pallarés are with the Human Performance and Sports Science Laboratory, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain. Gandia-Soriano is with the Biophysics and Medical Physics Group (GIFIME), Dept of Physiology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain, and Burgos BH Professional Cycling Team, Burgos, Spain. Zabala is with the Dept of Physical Education & Sport, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Spain. Valenzuela and Lucia are also with the Inst de Investigación Hospital 12 de Octubre (imas12), Grupo de Investigación en Actividad física y Salud (PaHerg), Madrid, Spain.

Pallarés (jgpallares@um.es) is corresponding author.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Material 1 (PDF 370 KB)
    • Supplementary Material 2 (PDF 373 KB)
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