McNulty bags junior title in sunny Doha
11 Oct 2016 - 23:06
By Rizwan Rehmat / The Peninsula
DOHA: American teen sensation Brandon McNulty yesterday cruised to victory in the junior men’s time trial, finishing the race ahead of Denmark’s Mikkel Bjerg and compatriot Ian Garrison.
On what was day three of the UCI World Road Championships, 18-year-old McNulty clocked a time of 34:42 to seal his win with relative ease under clear blue skies.
Bjerg finished the race 35 seconds behind McNulty - who was the final rider on the starting ramp - while Garrison was 53 seconds off the pace set by the day’s hero.
McNulty arrived in Doha in good form having won the prestigious Tour de l’Abitibi in the lead up to the worlds in Qatar.
The bronze medallist in Richmond, McNulty wasted no time in setting early pace before extending his lead over nearest rival by over half a minute.
McNulty is now the third American to have bagged junior men’s road title after Greg LeMond (1979) and Taylor Phinney (2007).
“It’s incredible. Just looking back at the guys that have won in the past, it’s a pretty elite group and it’s impossible to describe what it feels like,” said McNulty.
Averaging 49.964 kilometres per hour, McNulty said the warm weather was not much of a bother.
“I’m from Arizona, so I’m used to the heat. I conserved my energy initially and started pushing hard from the 10th minute. From then on, it was all or nothing for me. I’m so glad I won,” McNulty said.
“Ian and I have been doing some crazy heat activation over these past few weeks. It wasn’t fun but I felt like we were activated enough and we could handle it and push through it.
“When I caught the guy that went off in front of me, I knew that I was putting in a really good ride. When I caught the Swiss guy, that’s when I knew it was pretty good. It was definitely motivating to see that I was catching the other guys and really good for the mentality to stay positive and keep pushing,” he said.
Bjerg applauded McNulty’s fine show. “It feels like winning because Brandon was so strong. He was just better than me so I’m really happy with this,” Bjerg said.
Third-placed Garrison - who finished 53 seconds behind his countryman - said: “I’m very happy because this medal was unexpected. I wasn’t even in the top 15 before starting. I began slowly, conserved my energy and pushed hard towards the end.
He added: “Just to have in 1-3 an American, is an incredible feeling. Podium here was a big goal for me and I came through it as an underdog. It feels great to prove my strength.”
On conditions changing during the race Garrison said: “I don’t know specifically about the wind conditions, but the heat was a major factor and it definitely does heat up during the day, so I think that having a bit of an earlier start gave somewhat of an advantage. But there’s a lot of factors that come into it.”