This investigation describes the sprint performances of the highest internationally ranked professional male road sprint cyclist during the 2008–2011 Grand Tours. Sprint stages were classified as won, lost, or dropped from the front bunch before the sprint. Thirty-one stages were video-analyzed for average speed of the last km, sprint duration, position in the bunch, and number of teammates at 60, 30, and 15 s remaining. Race distance, total elevation gain (TEG), and average speed of 45 stages were determined. Head-to-head performances against the 2nd–5th most successful professional sprint cyclists were also reviewed. In the 52 Grand Tour sprint stages the subject started, he won 30 (58%), lost 15 (29%), was dropped in 6 (12%), and had 1 crash. Position in the bunch was closer to the front and the number of team members was significantly higher in won than in lost at 60, 30, and 15 s remaining (P < .05). The sprint duration was not different between won and lost (11.3 ± 1.7 and 10.4 ± 3.2 s). TEG was significantly higher in dropped (1089 ± 465 m) than in won and lost (574 ± 394 and 601 ± 423 m, P < .05). The ability to finish the race with the front bunch was lower (77%) than that of other successful sprinters (89%). However, the subject was highly successful, winning over 60% of contested stages, while his competitors won less than 15%. This investigation explores methodology that can be used to describe important aspects of road sprint cycling and supports the concept that tactical aspects of sprinting can relate to performance outcomes.
Paolo Menaspà, Chris R. Abbiss and David T. Martin
Chris R. Abbiss, Paolo Menaspà, Vincent Villerius and David T. Martin
A number of laboratory-based performance tests have been designed to mimic the dynamic and stochastic nature of road cycling. However, the distribution of power output and thus physical demands of high-intensity surges performed to establish a breakaway during actual competitive road cycling are unclear. Review of data from professional road-cycling events has indicated that numerous short-duration (5–15 s), high-intensity (~9.5–14 W/kg) surges are typically observed in the 5–10 min before athletes’ establishing a breakaway (ie, riding away from a group of cyclists). After this initial high-intensity effort, power output declined but remained high (~450–500 W) for a further 30 s to 5 min, depending on race dynamics (ie, the response of the chase group). Due to the significant influence competitors have on pacing strategies, it is difficult for laboratory-based performance tests to precisely replicate this aspect of mass-start competitive road cycling. Further research examining the distribution of power output during competitive road racing is needed to refine laboratory-based simulated stochastic performance trials and better understand the factors important to the success of a breakaway.
Martin E. Block, Chris Hopper, Barry Lavay and William Merriman
Nikos Ntoumanis, Anne-Marte Pensgaard, Chris Martin and Katie Pipe
The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth account of amotivation in compulsory school physical education by examining its major causes, the way it is displayed, and how it can be tackled. From an initial participant pool of 390 British schoolchildren ages 14 to 15 years, 21 of them (15 girls and 6 boys) were selected to participate in semi-structured interviews. They were categorized as being amotivated based on their responses to a questionnaire measuring motivation in physical education. Three main perceived causes of amotivation were identified in the interviews: learned helplessness beliefs, low need satisfaction, and contextual factors. Amotivation was mainly displayed by nonattendance, low involvement in the class, and low intention to be physically active after leaving school. Students’ suggestions for reducing amotivation focused on the enhancement of positive affect, need satisfaction, and structural/organizational changes. The findings are discussed in conjunction with contemporary motivation theories and models of amotivation.
Paolo Menaspà, Franco M. Impellizzeri, Eric C. Haakonssen, David T. Martin and Chris R. Abbiss
To determine the consistency of commercially available devices used for measuring elevation gain in outdoor activities and sports.
Two separate observational validation studies were conducted. Garmin (Forerunner 310XT, Edge 500, Edge 750, and Edge 800; with and without elevation correction) and SRM (Power Control 7) devices were used to measure total elevation gain (TEG) over a 15.7-km mountain climb performed on 6 separate occasions (6 devices; study 1) and during a 138-km cycling event (164 devices; study 2).
TEG was significantly different between the Garmin and SRM devices (P < .05). The between-devices variability in TEG was lower when measured with the SRM than with the Garmin devices (study 1: 0.2% and 1.5%, respectively). The use of the Garmin elevation-correction option resulted in a 5–10% increase in the TEG.
While measurements of TEG were relatively consistent within each brand, the measurements differed between the SRM and Garmin devices by as much as 3%. Caution should be taken when comparing elevation-gain data recorded with different settings or with devices of different brands.
Megan L. Ross, Brian Stephens, Chris R. Abbiss, David T. Martin, Paul B. Laursen and Louise M. Burke
To observe voluntary fluid and carbohydrate intakes and thermoregulatory characteristics of road cyclists during 2 multiday, multiple-stage races in temperate conditions.
Ten internationally competitive male cyclists competed in 2 stage races (2009 Tour of Gippsland, T1, n = 5; 2010 Tour of Geelong, T2, n = 5) in temperate conditions (13.2–15.8°C; 54–80% relative humidity). Body mass (BM) was recorded immediately before and after each stage. Peak gastrointestinal temperature (TGI peak) was recorded throughout each stage. Cyclists recalled the types and volumes of fluid and food consumed throughout each stage.
Although fluid intake varied according to the race format, there were strong correlations between fluid intake and distance across all formats of racing, in both tours (r = .82, r = .92). Within a stage, the relationship between finishing time and fluid intake was trivial. Mean BM change over a stage was 1.3%, with losses >2% BM occurring on 5 out of 43 measured occasions and the fastest competitors incurring lower BM changes. Most subjects consumed carbohydrate at rates that met the new guidelines (30–60 g/h for 2–3 h, ~90 g/h for >3 h), based on event duration. There were consistent observations of TGI peak >39°C during stages of T1 (67%) and T2 (73%) despite temperate environmental conditions.
This study captured novel effects of highintensity stage racing in temperate environmental conditions. In these conditions, cyclists were generally able to find opportunities to consume fluid and carbohydrate to meet current guidelines. We consistently observed high TGI peak, which merits further investigation.
Charlie Foster, Melvyn Hillsdon, Andy Jones, Chris Grundy, Paul Wilkinson, Martin White, Bart Sheehan, Nick Wareham and Margaret Thorogood
Physical activity has been positively associated with a range of objectively measured environmental variables. We explored the relationship of walking and other categories of physical activity with objectively measured activity specific environmental variables in a UK population.
We used a geographical information system (GIS) and gender specific multivariate models to relate 13,927 participants’ reported levels of physical activity with a range of measures of the environment.
Access to green space and area levels of crime were not associated with walking for recreation. Distance to facilities had either no or only a small effect on the uptake of different activities. Odds ratios of cycling for leisure dropped as local traffic density increased for both genders. Compared with the lowest quartile for traffic density the likelihood of reporting any cycling for leisure was OR 0.42, (95% CI 0.32 to 0.52, P < .001) for women and OR 0.41, (95% CI 0.33 to 0.50, P < .001) for men in the highest quartile.
We were unable to reproduce results observed in previous studies. Future research should use large representative population samples from multiple areas to maximize environmental variability and if feasible use both objective and subjective measures of physical activity and the environment.
Martin E. Block, Sherry L. Folsom-Meek, Chris Hopper, William Merriman, Terry L. Rizzo, Ron Stahl, Paul R. Surburg and Abu Yilla
Rhona Martin-Smith, Duncan S. Buchan, Julien S. Baker, Mhairi J. Macdonald, Nicholas F. Sculthorpe, Chris Easton, Allan Knox and Fergal M. Grace
Background: This study examined the impact of a 4-week school-based sprint interval training program on cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), daily physical activity (PA) behavior, and cardiometabolic risk (CMR) outcomes in adolescents. Methods: A total of 56 adolescents (22 females) were allocated to either an intervention (n = 22; 17.0 [0.3] y) or control group (n = 30; 16.8 [0.5] y). Intervention group performed 5 to 6, 30 second “all out” running sprints, interspersed with 30-second rest intervals, 3 times per week, for 4 consecutive weeks, whereas control group performed their normal physical education lessons. CRF was estimated from the 20-m multistage fitness test and PA behavior was determined using accelerometry. Fasting blood samples were obtained to measure biochemical markers of CMR. Results: Significant group × time interactions were observed for CRF (5.03 [1.66 to 8.40]; P < .001; d = 0.95), sedentary time (136.15 [91.91 to 180.39]; P = .004; d = 1.8), moderate PA (57.20 [32.17 to 82.23]; P < .001; d = 1.5), vigorous PA (5.40 [4.22 to 6.57]; P < .001; d = 1.2), fasting insulin (0.37 [−0.48 to 1.21]; P = .01; d = 1.0), homeostasis model of assessment-insulin resistance (0.26 [0.15 to 0.42]; P < .001; d = 0.9), and clustered CMR score (0.22 [−0.05 to 0.68]; P < .001; d = 10.63). Conclusion: Findings of this study indicate that 4 weeks of school-based sprint interval training improves CRF, improves PA profiles, and maintains CMR in adolescents during the school term.