I think that example is totally spot on. The pursuit similar to super short crit. pretty different from many other track events, for a lot of those my experience is that very little efficiency is gained from long rides. that being said, we are talking the difference between 4-5 hours a week of tempo riding versus 12-25 hours that I would routinely do as a roadie.
Follow up point to this efficiency question, ran across a study of pedaqlign dynamics that suggested the only cyclist with truly mechanicaly "efficient" pedaling were elite mountainbikers who needed to be smooth to maximize traction. My observations were that the mountain bike race season absolutely killed my sprint, left me no snap for the track, but made me pretty smooth for sitdown climbing and small group breakaways.
Originally Posted by Motion MacIvor
I think there is a distinction between technique and efficiency. XC sking and speed skating definetly require more technique than cycling but I think all sports benifit equally from improved eficiency (improved work output for a given energy input).
I have to admit that I have no track experience but my former coach had plenty including a WC bronze medal in the kilo. She was the person who told me coaches in europe were finding that if an elite road racer could last more than four or five minutes in a pursuit they would generaly win the race over the track specialist. I dont consider her word to be gospel if you have better information I'd love to hear it.