A multidimensional approach to performance prediction in Olympic distance cross-country mountain bikers.

Taylor & Francis
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Sports Sciences, 2018, 36 pp. 1 - 8
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This study adopted a multidimensional approach to performance prediction within Olympic distance cross-country mountain biking (XCO-MTB). Twelve competitive XCO-MTB cyclists (VO2max 60.8 ± 6.7 ml · kg(-1)( )· min(-1)) completed an incremental cycling test, maximal hand grip strength test, cycling power profile (maximal efforts lasting 6-600 s), decision-making test and an individual XCO-MTB time-trial (34.25 km). A hierarchical approach using multiple linear regression analyses was used to develop predictive models of performance across 10 circuit subsections and the total time-trial. The strongest model to predict overall time-trial performance achieved prediction accuracy of 127.1 s across 6246.8 ± 452.0 s (adjusted R(2) = 0.92; P < 0.01). This model included VO2max relative to total cycling mass, maximal mean power across 5 and 30 s, peak left hand grip strength, and response time for correct decisions in the decision-making task. A range of factors contributed to the models for each individual subsection of the circuit with varying predictive strength (adjusted R(2): 0.62-0.97; P < 0.05). The high prediction accuracy for the total time-trial supports that a multidimensional approach should be taken to develop XCO-MTB performance. Additionally, individual models for circuit subsections may help guide training practices relative to the specific trail characteristics of various XCO-MTB circuits.
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