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Open AccessReview

Power Assessment in Road Cycling: A Narrative Review

1
Department of Physiatry and Nursery, Section of Physical Education and Sports, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Zaragoza, 22004 Huesca, Spain
2
National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), University of Lleida (UdL), E-25192 Lleida, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5216; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125216
Received: 15 May 2020 / Revised: 21 June 2020 / Accepted: 24 June 2020 / Published: 26 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Performance and Health Care for a Sustainable Lifestyle)
Nowadays, the evaluation of physiological characteristics and training load quantification in road cycling is frequently performed through power meter data analyses, but the scientific evidence behind this tool is scarce and often contradictory. The aim of this paper is to review the literature related to power profiling, functional threshold testing, and performance assessment based on power meter data. A literature search was conducted following preferred reporting items for review statement (PRISMA) on the topic of {“cyclist” OR “cycling” AND “functional threshold” OR “power meter”}. The reviewed evidence provided important insights regarding power meter-based training: (a) functional threshold testing is closely related to laboratory markers of steady state; (b) the 20-min protocol represents the most researched option for functional threshold testing, although shorter durations may be used if verified on an individual basis; (c) power profiling obtained through the recovery of recorded power outputs allows the categorization and assessment of the cyclist’s fitness level; and (d) power meters represent an alternative to laboratory tests for the assessment of the relationship between power output and cadence. This review elucidates the increasing amount of studies related to power profiling, functional threshold testing, and performance assessment based on power meter data, highlighting the opportunity for the expanding knowledge that power meters have brought in the road cycling field. View Full-Text
Keywords: functional threshold; power meter; endurance; training; performance assessment functional threshold; power meter; endurance; training; performance assessment
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Sitko, S.; Cirer-Sastre, R.; Corbi, F.; López-Laval, I. Power Assessment in Road Cycling: A Narrative Review. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5216.

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