Research

Tour de France versus Vuelta a Espana: which is harder?


Reference:

Lucia, A., Hoyos, J., Santalla, A., Earnest, C. P. and Chicharro, J. L., 2003. Tour de France versus Vuelta a Espana: which is harder? Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35 (5), pp. 872-878.

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Official URL:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12750600/

Abstract

PURPOSE: To compare the total exercise loads (intensity x volume) of the Vuelta a Espana and Tour de France during the last year. METHODS: Seven professional road cyclists (28 +/- 1 yr; [OV0312]O(2max): 74.6 +/- 2.2 mL.kg-1.min-1) who participated in both Tour and Vuelta during the years 1997, 1999, 2000, or 2001 were collected as subjects. They wore a heart rate (HR) telemeter during each stage of the two races, and exercise intensity was divided into three phases according to the reference HR values obtained during a previous ramp cycle-ergometer test: phase I (<ventilatory threshold (VT)), phase II (between VT and the respiratory compensation point (RCP)) and phase III (>RCP). Total volume and intensity were integrated as a single variable. The score for volume x intensity in each phase was computed by multiplying the accumulated duration in this phase by a multiplier for this particular phase. The total score for Tour and Vuelta was obtained by summating the results of the three phases. RESULTS: The total loads (volume x intensity) did not significantly differ between the two races (P > 0.05), despite a significantly longer total exercise time of the Tour (P < 0.05) (5552 +/- 176 vs 5086 +/- 290 min). CONCLUSION: The physiological loads imposed on cyclists' bodies do not differ between the Tour and Vuelta, despite the longer duration of daily stages in the former race.

Details

Item Type Articles
CreatorsLucia, A., Hoyos, J., Santalla, A., Earnest, C. P. and Chicharro, J. L.
DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Health
RefereedYes
StatusPublished
ID Code29998

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