2016 Junior World Time Trial Champion Brandon McNulty won his first Under-23 US National Championship title today, besting the competition with a time of 41:44 on the 34 km course around Taylorsville Lake State Park, KY. McNulty’s win showed grit and toughness after illness hindered his performance in last week’s US TT National Championships, and was another sign that the young talent is here to stay.
The Under-23 field today included the powerful Axeon Hagens Berman duo of Neilson Powless and William Barta, who finished 3rd and 4th in the Elite time trial event over the previous weekend. McNulty meanwhile struggled to a 22nd place result, feeling the effects of an illness which began toward the end of the North Star Grand Prix.
“Brandon was sick last week and had a rough go in Knoxville on Saturday,” explained Performance Manager Jonas Carney. “It’s remarkable that he recovered so quickly and was able to win against such a tough field of riders.”
The wishbone course around Taylorsville Lake featured over 1800 feet of elevation gain and constant rolling terrain, requiring riders to deliver constant power to the pedals. Barta set a new standard when he crossed the line in 41:56 with Powless and McNulty still out on course. The bronze medalist from last weekend came up just short of Barta, 12 seconds in arrears. McNulty meanwhile was proving out on the course that he had overcome his illness, eclipsing Barta at the mid-race time check. After the finish, Brandon’s time stood fast and he claimed his first U-23 Championship with 12 seconds to spare.
Asked how it felt to lay down a winning performance today following his earlier setback, McNulty replied, “It felt great! I knew that if my body was able to come around for today I would have a solid shot at the win. I also knew my form was good coming off of some big efforts at the North Star Grand Prix, and everything just came together today. I’m very happy to take home the jersey and continue to bring home national titles for Rally Cycling.”
McNulty and teammate Curtis White will have another chance at stars and stripes tomorrow morning in the 177 km U-23 Championship Road Race. Despite being outnumbered by larger teams, the pair could still prove formidable given McNulty’s strength from the breakaway and White’s speedy finishing kick. The race circuits will be nearly flat, running laps around Cherokee Park in Louisville.
USA Cycling U-23 Road Nationals | Time Trial | Men
1. Brandon McNulty (Rally Cycling)
2. William Barta (Axeon Hagens Berman)
3. Neilson Powless (Axeon Hagens Berman)
4. Geoffrey Curran (Axeon Hagens Berman)
5. Ian Garrison (Axeon Hagens Berman)
6. Connor Brown (Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling)
7. Brendan Rhim (Holowesko | Citadel)
8. Christopher Blevins (Axeon Hagens Berman)
9. Ezekiel Mostov (Aevolo Cycling)
10. Stephen Bassett (Silber Pro Cycling)