Int J Sports Med 1999; 20(6): 374-378
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-971147
Training and Testing

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Critical Power is Related to Cycling Time Trial Performance

J. C. Smith1 , B. S. Dangelmaier2 , D. W. Hill3
  • 1Department of Kinesiology, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX, USA
  • 2Department of Exercise, Sport and Health Studies, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA
  • 3Department of Kinesioloy, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
09 March 2007 (online)

The purpose of this study was to evaluate critical power (WCP) as an indicator of aerobic fitness in trained cyclists, and to determine its relationship to cycling time trial (TT) performance. Thirteen competitive USCF category 2 or 3 cyclists provided season's best 40 km TT times (mean [SD]) time = 59.6 min (3.1), and performed two 17 km TT under controlled conditions (26.6 min [1.1]). Ventilatory threshold (VT) and VO2max were determined from a maximal incremental test. WCP was calculated using the results of four all-out constant power tests. Mean WCP was 299 (61) W or 4.1 W x kg-1, VT was 3616 (750) ml x min-1 or 49.8 ml x kg-1 x min-1 (7.5), and VO2max was 4596 ml x min-1 or 63.5 ml x kg-1 x min-1 (8.0). WCP was strongly related to VT and VO2max, demonstrating that it can serve as a measure of aerobic fitness in this population. Expressions of WCP were slightly to considerably more highly related to 17 km and 40 km TT performances (r = - 0.77 to - 0.91) than were expressions of VT and VO2max (r = - 0.71 to - 0.87). It is, concluded that WCP provides an aerobic fitness measure for competitive cyclists which can be obtained without invasive testing. ln addition, WCP is strongly related to the TT performance of competitive cyclists.