Pacing strategy during Olympic Cross-Country Mountain Bike: effects of performance level, age and sex


  • Everton Crivoi do Carmo Senac University Center
  • Allan Inoue Brazilian Navy, CEFAN,
  • Cesar Cavinato Cal Abad Nucleus of High Performance in Sports - NARSP
  • Frederico Antonio dos Santos Andrade
  • Valmor Tricoli University of São Paulo
  • Renato Barroso State University of Campinas



endurance, training, Cycling, performance


Objectives: the aim of the present study was to verify the pacing strategy during a season of a Cross-Country Mountain Bike (XCO-MTB) and the effects of performance level, age and sex. Method: Overall, 802 paces in 4 age-sex categories were analyzed: male elite (EliteM; n = 272), female elite (EliteF; n = 170), male under-23 (U23M; n = 247) and female under-23 (U23F; n = 113). Races were divided into Initial Lap; middle one (Middle1); middle two (Middle2) and Final Lap. The athletes were divided into high performance (HP); intermediated performance (IP) and low performance (LP). The magnitude-based inference and the effect size were assessed to check the changes clinically important. Results: it was observed a similar fast-start strategy for all categories. Both HP EliteM and EliteF athletes showed higher speed in Final Lap than LP (EliteM - ES = 0.5; 90%CI -0.8 to -0.2; very likely and EliteF - ES = 1.0; 90%CI -1.4 to -0.6; almost certain). The U23F athletes showed higher speeds in Initial Lap than EliteF (ES = 0.21; 90%CI - 0.1 to 0.5; likely), however in Final Lap the speeds was lower in U23F (ES = 1; 90%CI -1.3 to -0.6; very likely). Conclusion: the fast-start strategy is typically used during a XCO-MTB race independently of performance level, age or sex. HP Elite athletes are able to maintain higher speeds in the Final Lap. U23F athletes used to do a more variable pacing strategy with more aggressive fast-start strategy and lower speed in Final Lap than EliteF.


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Author Biographies

Everton Crivoi do Carmo, Senac University Center

Department of Physical Education

Allan Inoue, Brazilian Navy, CEFAN,

Research Laboratory of Exercise Science

Frederico Antonio dos Santos Andrade

Singularidades Institute – iS

Valmor Tricoli, University of São Paulo

School of Physical Education and Sport

Renato Barroso, State University of Campinas

Department of Sport Sciences, Faculty of Physical Education



How to Cite

do Carmo, E. C., Inoue, A., Cal Abad, C. C., Andrade, F. A. dos S., Tricoli, V., & Barroso, R. (2020). Pacing strategy during Olympic Cross-Country Mountain Bike: effects of performance level, age and sex. Journal of Science and Cycling, 9(1), 13-24.



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