1,Mapei Sport, Olgiate Olona, Varese, Italy
Seasonal variation of total haemoglobin mass and the influence that training load can have has been investigated in elite athletes from different sports (Eastwood et al., 2012: Med Sci Sports Exerc, (44), 725-732). Nevertheless, it is not clear whether a similar trend is valid for a specific group of professional cyclists who ride several thousands of kilometres during the season. tHb-mass (optimised CO re-breathing method) (Schmdit and Prommer, 2005: Eur J Appl Physiol, (95), 486-495), VO2max and endurance capacity (Sassi et al., 2006: Eur J Appl Physiol, (97),174-80) were monitored in a group of professional male cyclists (UCI Pro Team) during a period of one year. The within-subject variability of haemoglobin mass was quantified. The seasonal variations of tHb-mass, VO2max and endurance capacity were determined. The coefficient of variation for all haemoglobin mass measures (n=171) in 19 cyclists was 3.3% (90% confidence limits: 2.9-3.8%) with a maximal and minimal absolute variation of 153 and 1 g respectively. The coefficient of variation for haemoglobin mass, VO2max and performance capacity measures (n=70) in a sub sample of 15 cyclists were 3.5, 4.3, 63.1% respectively. Seasonal variation of haemoglobin mass in male professional cyclists seems to be similar to those found in elite athletes from different sports. Interestingly, at an individual level very large changes are present. It has been suggested that training can affect haemoglobin mass variation throughout the season however the present data suggests that training impacts upon endurance capacity to a much greater extent than haemoglobin mass and VO2max.
Comunicazione World Congress of Cycling Science, Leeds 2014