Discriminant analysis of the speciality of elite cyclists


  • Ana B. Peinado Polytechnic University Madrid, Spain
  • Pedro J. Benito Polytechnic University Madrid, Spain
  • Víctor Díaz University of Zürich, Switzerland
  • Coral González Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
  • Augusto G. Zapico Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
  • María Álvarez University of Zürich, Switzerland
  • Nicola Maffulli Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
  • Francisco J. Calderón Polytechnic University Madrid, Spain




Physiological characteristics, Cycling, Specialists, Discriminant analysis


The different demands of competition coupled with the morphological and physiological characteristics of cyclists have led to the appearance of cycling specialities. The aims of this study were to determine the differences in the anthropometric and physiological features in road cyclists with different specialities, and to develop a multivariate model to classify these specialities and predict which speciality may be appropriate to a given cyclist. Twenty male, elite amateur cyclists were classified by their trainers as either flat terrain riders, hill climbers, or all-terrain riders. Anthropometric and cardiorespiratory studies were then undertaken. The results were analysed by MANOVA and two discriminant tests. Most differences between the speciality groups were of an anthropometric nature. The only cardiorespiratory variable that differed significantly (p < 0.05) was maximum oxygen consumption with respect to body weight (VO2max/kg). The first discriminant test classified 100% of the cyclists within their true speciality; the second, which took into account only anthropometric variables, correctly classified 75%. The first discriminant model allows the likely speciality of still non-elite cyclists to be predicted from a small number of variables, and may therefore help in their specific training.


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How to Cite

Peinado, A. B., Benito, P. J., Díaz, V., González, C., Zapico, A. G., Álvarez, M., Maffulli, N., & Calderón, F. J. (2011). Discriminant analysis of the speciality of elite cyclists. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 6(3), 480–489. https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2011.63.01