Validity of using functional threshold power and intermittent power to predict cross-country mountain bike race outcome
Keywords:cycling, mountain bike, off-road, functional threshold power, cross country
Validity of using functional threshold power and intermittent power to predict cross-country mountain bike race outcome. Purpose: Field tests are important for athletes and sport practitioners as they offer valuable information on performance without demanding the time and cost to visit a laboratory. This study tested the ability of relative functional threshold power (FTP) and intermittent power (IP) field-tests to be used as predictors of cross-country mountain bike (XC-MTB) race finishing time (RT). Methods: Eleven well-trained male XC-MTB cyclists (mean age: 35.8 ± 8.2 yr; mean mass: 80.8 ± 13.4 kg) volunteered for this study. Relative (W/kg) FTP and relative IP were collected from field tests with the mean of all work intervals was recorded as IP and FTP calculated from 95% of mean maximal 20-minute power. RT was collected during a mass-start 17.4 km simulated XC-MTB race. Results: Both IP (r2=0.786) and FTP (r2=0.736) models were able to significantly predict RT (p < 0.001). However, the prediction errors were less when using Relative IP than Relative FTP (273.5 s versus 303.6 s). Conclusion: A field-based IP test can be used as a benchmark for the determination of XC-MTB athlete ability and preparedness. Athlete improvements can be tracked using an IP test.
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