This study aimed to investigate whether exercise hyperpnoea contributes to an impairment of locomotor muscle oxygenation and performance during repeated-sprint exercise in normoxia and hypoxia. Subjects performed ten 10-s sprints, separated by 30 s of passive rest while breathing either a normoxic (21% O 2 ) or hypoxic (15% O 2 ) gas mixture. Muscle oxygenation of the vastus lateralis and intercostal muscles was examined with near-infrared spectroscopy. Sprint and recovery vastus lateralis deoxyhaemoglobin was elevated in hypoxia by 9.2% (90% confidence interval 0.2 to 18.0) and 14.1% (90% CL 4.9 to 23.3%) compared to normoxia, respectively. There were no clear differences in respiratory muscle deoxyhaemoglobin (−0.1%, 90% CL −2.9 to 0.9%) or oxyhaemoglobin (0.9%, 90% CL −0.8 to 2.6%) between conditions. Maintenance of respiratory muscle oxygenation may contribute to the rise of vastus lateralis deoxyhaemoglobin in hypoxia during intermittent sprint cycling. This manuscript presents data which extends the fact that oxygen competition could be a limiting factor of exercise capacity.