Comparison of a Simulated 16.1-km Time Trial, V?O2max and Related Factors in Cyclists with Different Ventilatory Thresholds

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International Journal of Sports Medicine


Exercise Science


Differences in cycling performance have been observed in cyclists with similar V?O2max values yet different lactate thresholds. The purpose of the current study was to compare a simulated 16.1-km cycling time trial, V?O2max and related factors in cyclists who significantly varied in ventilatory threshold. From an original group of 18 category III or IV cyclists, two groups of 6 cyclists were formed based on ventilatory threshold values as high (77±4% of V?O2max - Group H) or low (68±2.8% - Group L). V?O2max and a 16.1-km time trial were completed on a Velodyne trainer. No significant difference (p>0.05) was noted between groups in V?O2max (Group H 4.00±0.281·min-1, Group L 4.15±0.671·min-1), however significant differences (p < 0.05) were found in ventilatory threshold and time trial scores. Group H completed the time trial in 16.29±2.08 min while Group L averaged 20.93±3.03min. Group H completed the time trial 28% more quickly by working at a significantly higher percentage of V?O2max, a higher power output and a faster pedal rate than Group L. From a battery of physiologic and body composition parameters, the ventilatory threshold expressed as V?O2 (1·min-1) was the best predictor (r = -0.76) of time trial performance in the 12 cyclists. The findings of this study indicate that the ventilatory threshold was superior to V?O2max in discerning performance differences in a 16.1-km cycling time trial, and was the best predictor of the simulated time trial performance.