A comparison of the cycling performance of cyclists and triathletes
Laursen, PB and Shing, CM and Tennant, Sc and Prentice, SC and Jenkins, DG, A comparison of the cycling performance of cyclists and triathletes, Journal of Sports Sciences, 21, (5) pp. 411-418. ISSN 0264-0414 (2003) [Refereed Article]
The aim of this study was to compare the cycling performance of cyclists and triathletes. Each week for 3 weeks, and on different days, 25 highly trained male cyclists and 18 highly trained male triathletes performed: (1) an incremental exercise test on a cycle ergometer for the determination of peak oxygen consumption (V̇O2peak), peak power output and the first and second ventilatory thresholds, followed 15 min later by a sprint to volitional fatigue at 150% of peak power output; (2) a cycle to exhaustion test at the V̇O2peak power output; and (3) a 40-km cycle time-trial. There were no differences in V̇O2peak, peak power output, time to volitional fatigue at 150% of peak power output or time to exhaustion at V̇O2peak power output between the two groups. However, the cyclists had a significantly faster time to complete the 40-km time-trial (56:18 ± 2:31 min:s; mean ± s) than the triathletes (58:57 ± 3:06 min:s; P < 0.01), which could be partially explained (r = 0.34-0.51; P < 0.05) by a significantly higher first (3.32 ± 0.36 vs 3.08 ± 0.36 l.min-1) and second ventilatory threshold (4.05 ± 0.36 vs 3.81 ± 0.29 l.min-1; both P < 0.05) in the cyclists compared with the triathletes. In conclusion, cyclists, may be able to perform better than triathletes in cycling time-trial events because they have higher first and second ventilatory thresholds.