• Swarming behaviour in elite race bunch cycling: a case study

      Waldron, Mark; Worsfold, Paul R.; White, Christopher; Murray, Stafford; University of Chester (Cardiff Metropolitan University, 2011-04)
      The current study undertook a dynamical systems analysis of race bunch cycling, considering the 'sports contest' as a dynamical, self organising system (McGarry et al., 2002). Data from one international track racing event was used to analyse a potential non-linear aggregation theory of 'swarming' in the 'points race', with two objectives; 1) To identify a race profile of a basic swarm mentality within the points race; 2) To identify system stability and the possible perturbation of stability in relation to successful and unsuccessful breakaways. Stability was based upon a 'normal' profile of race behaviours, measured by three separate dependent measures, namely; Absolute Difference, Rate of Change and Phase Duration. Results showed; 1) The points race exhibits the quintessential 'attract and repel' elements that characterise the swarm mentality 2) One-way ANOVA revealed that breakaways of both successful (3.3±1.2 half laps) and unsuccessful (3.1±1.5 half laps) conditions tend to differ from the race 'norm' (2.1±1.3 half laps) in terms of phase duration (F(2, 228)=18.4, P<0.05), suggesting that breakaways perturb the system through longer attract and repel phases. Results are discussed in relation to the current and future effectiveness of describing race bunch cycling as a dynamical system.
    • Track cycling: An analysis of the pacing strategies employed during the devil elimination race

      Gill, Kevin; Worsfold, Paul R.; White, Christopher; University of Chester (Cardiff Metropolitan University, 2014-04-01)
      This study aimed to provide a description of the pacing requirements of the track cycling Elimination race, and to identify effective pacing strategies to maximise overall Omnium medal opportunity. Six male, and six female elite competitive races were investigated using half-lap split times. Selected dependant variables were; mean speed and variation in speed. Spearman’s Rho correlations were used to test patterns between dependant variables and the final finishing position of riders. One-way ANOVAs were also applied to test for differences in dependant variables, between successful (top 6 finishers) and unsuccessful groups (7th-12th). Pacing patterns of the men's and women's races were complex, but followed an overall positive and variable pacing pattern, with men's race quarter speeds of 52.8km/h (±1.9), 52.1km/h (±2.1), 51.1km/h (±2.2), and 49.5km/h (±5.5). In general, differences in pacing strategy were not found to significantly influence the success of riders unless employed late in the race. Results are discussed for the application and the development of effective elimination race strategies and tactics.