Purpose: In modern sprint cycling competitions, the athletes perform a preparatory movement that consists in reaching the backmost standing position, quickly accelerating the body forward at the starting signal. The purpose of this study was to investigate the kinematics of backward standing starts in elite cyclists, as well as the effect of initial crank angle. Methods: Video analysis of cycling starts was performed in seven male elite cyclists during 30 m sprints and in 3 starting conditions: seated with a self-selected crank angle (S-ss), backward standing from a self-selected (BSt-ss) or imposed crank angle of 90° (BSt-90°). Average velocity after 5 and 30 m was also measured by means of a photocell system. Results: No differences in starting crank angle were observed between BSt-ss and S-ss (about 64°). The fastest starts were attained in BSt-ss (highest velocity at 5 and 30 m); in this condition, angular downstroke velocity was the highest and the counter movement occurred earlier than in BSt-90°. Significant positive associations were observed between angular velocity in the first downstroke and forward velocity at 5 and 30 m. Conclusions: These findings indicate that backward standing starts improve cycling performance (compared to seated starts), that an initial crank angle < 90° is preferable, and that elite cyclists maintain the initial advantage at least up to a distance of 30 m.

Kinematics of backward standing starts in elite cyclists: the effect of initial crank angle

Nardello, Francesca;Bettega, Simone;Zandomeneghi, Marco;Zamparo, Paola
2022

Abstract

Purpose: In modern sprint cycling competitions, the athletes perform a preparatory movement that consists in reaching the backmost standing position, quickly accelerating the body forward at the starting signal. The purpose of this study was to investigate the kinematics of backward standing starts in elite cyclists, as well as the effect of initial crank angle. Methods: Video analysis of cycling starts was performed in seven male elite cyclists during 30 m sprints and in 3 starting conditions: seated with a self-selected crank angle (S-ss), backward standing from a self-selected (BSt-ss) or imposed crank angle of 90° (BSt-90°). Average velocity after 5 and 30 m was also measured by means of a photocell system. Results: No differences in starting crank angle were observed between BSt-ss and S-ss (about 64°). The fastest starts were attained in BSt-ss (highest velocity at 5 and 30 m); in this condition, angular downstroke velocity was the highest and the counter movement occurred earlier than in BSt-90°. Significant positive associations were observed between angular velocity in the first downstroke and forward velocity at 5 and 30 m. Conclusions: These findings indicate that backward standing starts improve cycling performance (compared to seated starts), that an initial crank angle < 90° is preferable, and that elite cyclists maintain the initial advantage at least up to a distance of 30 m.
backward standing
elite cyclists
initial crank position
track cycling
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1074729
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