The aim of the present study was to determine if trained cyclists have perceptual markers that can be used to identify the ventilatory threshold during a maximal exercise test. Ten trained cyclists (age 25.20 +/- 4.94 years; VO2max 63.6 +/- 6.3 mL x min(-1) x kg(-1)) performed a maximal graded test on a cycling ergometer. Perceived exertion and affective valence were measured each min of the maximal graded test. The results indicate that ventilatory threshold, perceived exertion, and affective valence are significantly different compared to the values assessed 1 minute after ventilatory threshold. Moreover, there were a significant relationships between power output and perceived exertion (p < 0.01; r = 0.97) and affective valence (p < 0.01; r = 0.94) measured during the maximal graded test. These results confirm that at ventilatory threshold a lot of significant changes of perceptual parameters appear and may be good indicators for athletes to determine their ventilatory threshold during a training session. This method could be interesting for cyclists to control the exercise intensity during individual time trial.