Predictors of performance in a 4-h mountain-bike race

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Sports Sciences, 2018, 36 (4), pp. 462 - 468
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© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This study aimed to cross validate previously developed predictive models of mountain biking performance in a new cohort of mountain bikers during a 4-h event (XC4H). Eight amateur XC4H cyclists completed a multidimensional assessment battery including a power profile assessment that consisted of maximal efforts between 6 and 600 s, maximal hand grip strength assessments, a video-based decision-making test as well as a XC4H race. A multiple linear regression model was found to predict XC4H performance with good accuracy (R2 = 0.99; P < 0.01). This model consisted of (Formula presented.) relative to total cycling mass (body mass including competition clothing and bicycle mass), maximum power output sustained over 60 s relative to total cycling mass, peak left hand grip strength and two-line decision-making score. Previous models for Olympic distance MTB performance demonstrated merit (R2 = 0.93; P > 0.05) although subtle changes improved the fit, significance and normal distribution of residuals within the model (R2 = 0.99; P < 0.01), highlighting differences between the disciplines. The high level of predictive accuracy of the new XC4H model further supports the use of a multidimensional approach in predicting MTB performance. The difference between the new, XC4H and previous Olympic MTB predictive models demonstrates subtle differences in physiological requirements and performance predictors between the two MTB disciplines.
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