Oskar Svendsen, Junior Men Time Trial World Champion, has tested at the University of Lillehammer and his Vo2 Max measured sensational 97.5 ml/kg/min, believed to be the highest ever recorded.
Svendsen won UCI Road World Championships 2012 Junior Men Individual Time Trial title last week in Limburg, Netherlands.
In fact, it is really rare to measure VO2max above 85 ml/kg/min. Five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain reportedly had a VO2 max of 88 ml/kg/min, five points higher than Lance Armstrong and far, far above that of a regular male. 3-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond‘s reading was even bigger: 93 ml/kg/min, and it was the highest recorded value for a cyclist until Svendsen’s 97.5 ml/kg/min.
What is VO2 Max?
VO2 max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake, peak oxygen uptake or maximal aerobic capacity) is the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to transport and use oxygen during incremental exercise, which reflects the physical fitness of the individual. The name is derived from V-volume, O2-Oxygen, max-maximum.
VO2 max is expressed either as an absolute rate in liters of oxygen per minute (l/min) or as a relative rate in milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute (ml/kg/min). The latter expression is often used to compare the performance of endurance sports athletes.
You can read VO2Max world records from here.
Oskar Svendsen may join the greats
But VO2 Max is not the only parameter that making an athlete one of the bests. Other parameters like the lactate threshold is also crucial. Svendsen is also good at that: his power output on the calibrated test ergometer at a lactate concentration of 4 mmol is above 400 Watts. This and his VO2 Max capacity proving that he has the potential to aim for the overall in the Grand Tours.
Svendsen was sick just before the worlds, so if his preparation had been ideal, his performance could have been more clear cut.
The young Norwegian is just 18 years old, and before stepping up to the next level, he obviously needs a couple of years to progress. He is currently riding for the Merida-NTG mountain bike team and Lillehammer Cykle Klubb. But there’s no doubt that World Tour teams will fight for his signature in the coming years.