Discriminant analysis of the speciality of elite cyclists

Ana B. Peinado, Pedro J. Benito, Víctor Díaz, Coral González, Augusto G. Zapico, María Álvarez, Nicola Maffulli, Francisco J. Calderón


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.


Physiological characteristics; Cycling; Specialists; Discriminant analysis


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2011.63.01