Gender difference in cycling speed and age of winning performers in ultra-cycling – the 508-mile “Furnace Creek” from 1983 to 2012

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Geschlechterunterschiede bei der Radfahrgeschwindigkeit und im Alter der Sieger im Ultraradsport - das 508-Meilen-Furnace-Creek von 1983 bis 2012
Author:Rüst, Christoph Alexander; Rosemann, Thomas; Lepers, Romuald; Knechtle, Beat
Published in:Journal of sports sciences
Published:33 (2015), 2, S. 198-210, Lit.
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Journal article
Media type: Electronic resource (online) Print resource
ISSN:0264-0414, 1466-447X
Online Access:
Identification number:PU201503002025


We analysed (i) the gender difference in cycling speed and (ii) the age of winning performers in the 508-mile “Furnace Creek 508”. Changes in cycling speeds and gender differences from 1983 to 2012 were analysed using linear, non-linear and hierarchical multi-level regression analyses for the annual three fastest women and men. Cycling speed increased non-linearly in men from 14.6 (s = 0.3) km · h−1 (1983) to 27.1 (s = 0.7) km · h−1 (2012) and non-linearly in women from 11.0 (s = 0.3) km · h−1 (1984) to 24.2 (s = 0.2) km · h−1 (2012). The gender difference in cycling speed decreased linearly from 26.2 (s = 0.5)% (1984) to 10.7 (s = 1.9)% (2012). The age of winning performers increased from 26 (s = 2) years (1984) to 43 (s = 11) years (2012) in women and from 33 (s = 6) years (1983) to 50 (s = 5) years (2012) in men. To summarise, these results suggest that (i) women will be able to narrow the gender gap in cycling speed in the near future in an ultra-endurance cycling race such as the “Furnace Creek 508” due to the linear decrease in gender difference and (ii) the maturity of these athletes has changed during the last three decades where winning performers become older and faster across years. Verf.-Referat