Epidemiology of Injuries at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships using the International Olympic Consensus: a protocol for a prospective cohort study

Neil Heron*, Xavier Bigard, Niall Elliott, Emma Lunan, Thomas Fallon, Debbie Palmer

*Corresponding author for this work

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The sport of cycling consists of several individual sporting disciplines. Indeed, the world governing body for cycling, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), oversees the cycling disciplines of road cycling, cyclocross, mountain bike, BMX freestyle, BMX racing, track, indoor and paracycling and each of these disciplines has several sub-categories of cycling activities.

Whilst several sports have undertaken prospective injury surveillance studies to understand the risks of their sport, plan event medical support and develop prevention programmes, limited high-quality studies have been undertaken within cycling. Indeed, this is the first prospective study of cycling injuries, particularly when considering the whole sport of cycling together. Therefore, this study will describe the incidence, severity, burden and nature of injuries within elite cycling in athletes participating across 13 championship events at the inaugural World Championships, Glasgow, August 2023.

Injury and exposure definitions will align with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Consensus for injury surveillance in cycling. Injury incidence will be reported per 1000 athlete match hours or number of athletes/cyclists, and injury severity will be assessed via estimated median or mean days lost to training/competition. Meanwhile, injury burden will be assessed via days of absence/1,000 athlete match hours (or per number of athletes exposed), and all these results will be compared between male and female cyclists. This paper will also report the most common specific injuries for male and female cyclists (per 1,000 hours of participation or number of athletes exposed). Based on the results found, statistical differences will be tested for incidence or severity measures between sexes and compared to other sports, with appropriate areas targeted for prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001741
Number of pages6
JournalBMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2024. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


  • injury
  • Surveillance
  • Cycling
  • Prospective
  • Protocol
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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