Effect of age on 16.1-km time-trial performance

James Balmer, Steve Bird, Richard Davison, Alejandro Lucia

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6 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we assessed the performance of trained senior (n = 6) and veteran (n = 6) cyclists (mean age 28 years, s = 3 and 57 years, s = 4 respectively). Each competitor completed two cycling tests, a ramped peak aerobic test and an indoor 16.1-km time-trial. The tests were performed using a Kingcycle ergometer with the cyclists riding their own bicycle fitted with an SRM powermeter. Power output, heart rate, and gas exchange variables were recorded continuously and blood lactate concentration [HLa] was assessed 3 min after the peak ramped test and at 2.5-min intervals during the time-trial. Peak values for power output (RMP(max)), heart rate (HR(peak)), oxygen uptake (VO2(peak)), and ventilation (V(Epeak)) attained during the ramped test were higher in the senior group (P < 0.05), whereas [HLa](peak), RER(peak), V(E): VO2(peak), and economy(peak) were similar between groups (P > 0.05). Time-trial values (mean for duration of race) for power output (W(TT)), heart rate (HR(TT)), VO2 (VO(2TT)), and V(E) (V(ETT)) were higher in the seniors (P < 0.05), but [HLa](TT), RER(TT), V(ETT): VO2(TT), and economy(TT) were similar between the groups (P > 0.05). Time-trial exercise intensity, expressed as %RMP(max), %HR(peak), % VO2(peak), and % V(Epeak), was similar (P > 0.05) for seniors and veterans (W(TT): 81%, s = 2 vs. 78%, s = 8; HR(TT): 96%, s = 4 vs. 94%, s = 4; VO2(TT): 92%, s = 4 vs. 95%, s = 10; V(ETT): 89%, s = 8 vs. 85%, s = 8, respectively). Overall, seniors attained higher absolute values for power output, heart rate, VO2, and V(E) but not blood lactate concentration, respiratory exchange ratio (RER), V(E): VO2, and economy. Veterans did not accommodate age-related declines in time trial performance by maintaining higher relative exercise intensity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • ageing
  • masters
  • cardiopulmonary
  • cycling


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