Frontiers Research Foundation
Medical and Exercise Sciences
Over the past few decades the possibility to capture real-time data from road cyclists has drastically improved. Given the increasing pressure for improved transparency and openness, there has been an increase in publication of cyclists' physiological and performance data. Recently, it has been suggested that the use of such performance biometrics may be used to strengthen the sensitivity and applicability of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) and aid in the fight against doping. This is an interesting concept which has merit, although there are several important factors that need to be considered. These factors include accuracy of the data collected and validity (and reliability) of the subsequent performance modeling. In order to guarantee high quality standards, the implementation of well-structured Quality-Systems within sporting organizations should be considered, and external certifications may be required. Various modeling techniques have been developed, many of which are based on fundamental intensity/time relationships. These models have increased our understanding of performance but are currently limited in their application, for example due to the largely unaccounted effects of environmental factors such as, heat and altitude. In conclusion, in order to use power data as a performance biometric to be integrated in the biological passport, a number of actions must be taken to ensure accuracy of the data and better understand road cycling performance in the field. This article aims to outline considerations in the quantification of cycling performance, also presenting an alternative method (i.e., monitoring race results) to allow for determination of unusual performance improvements.
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