Mechanical and Morphological Determinants of Peak Power Output in Elite Cyclists.

Kordi, Mehdi, Folland, Jonathan, Goodall, Stuart, Haralabidis, Nicos, Maden-Wilkinson, Tom, Patel, Tejal Sarika, Leeder, Jonathan, Barratt, Paul and Howatson, Glyn (2020) Mechanical and Morphological Determinants of Peak Power Output in Elite Cyclists. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 30 (2). pp. 227-337. ISSN 0905-7188

Accepted version.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (1MB) | Preview
Official URL:


Mechanical peak power output (PPO) is a determinant of performance in sprint cycling. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between PPO and putative physiological determinants of PPO in elite cyclists, and to compare sprint performance between elite sprint and endurance cyclists. Thirty‐five elite cyclists (18 endurance; 17 sprint) performed duplicate sprint cycling laboratory tests to establish PPO and its mechanical components. Quadriceps femoris (QVOL) and hamstring muscle volume (HAMVOL) were assessed with MRI, vastus lateralis pennation angle (PθVL) and fascicle length (FLVL) were determined with ultrasound imaging, and neuromuscular activation of three muscles was assessed using EMG at PPO during sprint cycling. For the whole cohort, there was a wide variability in PPO (range 775‐2025 W) with very large, positive, bivariate relationships between PPO and QVOL (r = .87), HAMVOL (r = .71), and PθVL (r = .81). Step‐wise multiple regression analysis revealed that 87% of the variability in PPO between cyclists was explained by two variables QVOL (76%) and PθVL (11%). The sprint cyclists had greater PPO (+61%; P < .001 vs endurance), larger QVOL (P < .001), and BFVOL (P < .001) as well as more pennate vastus lateralis muscles (P < .001). These findings emphasize the importance of quadriceps muscle morphology for sprint cycling events.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Maximum cadence, Maximum power, Maximum torque, Muscle
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2019 08:36
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 13:06

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics