Preferred Name

David Nickolas Lenzi III

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Kinesiology


Michael J. Saunders

Nicholas D. Luden

Christopher J. Womack


Lenzi D. N., N. D. Luden, C. J. Womack, and M. J. Saunders. Physiological and anthropometric profiles of elite teen-age cyclists. Purpose: Previous research has demonstrated that maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), lactate threshold (LT), aerobic/anaerobic power output, and several anthropometric characteristics are related to elite cycling performance in adults. These values also improve during maturation in children. However, there is little research examining how these values differ between elite teen-age cyclists and their adult counterparts. Previous literature has also reported low bone mineral density (BMD) in adult cyclists when compared to recreationally active controls. This study sought to characterize the aerobic, anaerobic, and anthropometric profiles of elite U.S.-based teen-age cyclists and compare these values to high-level junior Italian cyclists and professional cyclists in the literature. This study also sought to characterize BMD in elite teen-age cyclists and compare them to age-specific normative data. Methods: Eight competitive male cyclists (age 16.8 ± 1.4 y; height 175 ± 5.8 cm, weight 61.5 ± 5.0) completed a DEXA scan (Body fat %, BMD), graded exercise test (VO2max, LT, Wmax), anaerobic power test, and muscle function test (isokinetic peak torque) in consecutive order. Descriptive data (means and standard deviations) were reported for all dependent measures and were qualitatively compared to existing data from the literature. Results: Elite U.S.-based teen-age cyclists possess comparable relative/absolute VO2max and Wmax values to high-level junior Italian cyclists, with inter-study differences likely explained by differing rider specializations and competitive-levels, and potentially methodological differences between studies. Our sample of teen-aged cyclists were smaller, lighter, and presented lower peak aerobic capacity (4.6 ± 0.7 vs. 5.4 ± 0.5 L) and power outputs (375 ± 67 vs. 432 ± 43 W) in comparison to professional cyclists. The teen-age cyclists had site-specific BMD values above the 50th percentile for age/sex, which may be attributable to MTB/running cross- training completed by these athletes. Conclusion: Our results are consistent with prior data in elite youth cyclists, and suggest that with further maturation and development, some of these riders have the potential to achieve physiological profiles equal to those required to reach the professional level. Keywords: CYCLING, PERFORMANCE, ELITE, TEEN-AGE, BONE MINERAL DENSITY.



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