Rally Cycling’s Brandon McNulty finished seventh in the general classification at the 2018 Amgen Tour of California, 3:28 behind overall winner Egan Bernal (Team Sky). During the seven day race, the 20-year-old was aggressive throughout. He finished 13th on the summit finish of Gibraltar Road on stage two, 24th in the stage four time trial after an ill-timed front puncture, and attacked a group of favorites on the steep slopes to South Lake Tahoe, finishing fourth on the queen stage to solidify his overall position for the week.
“It feels pretty incredible to finish top ten in a WorldTour stage race,” said McNulty. “I knew this result was a possibility but so much has to go right in order to get there. The team was incredible this week and always made sure I was protected.”
A concerted team effort, led by steadfast lieutenant Rob Britton, was critical to the performance. The team made sure McNulty was fresh for the key moments of the race.
“Brandon’s talent is huge and what he did here was impressive. A lot of behind-the-scenes sacrifice goes into making it happen, and the guys were incredible this week,” said Performance Director Jonas Carney.
The 143 km final stage and its tame profile was one for the sprinters, and started in Sacramento, journeyed west towards Davis, and returned to the state capitol. Adam de Vos represented the team in the main breakaway of four riders and won both intermediate sprints before being reeled in on the finishing circuits. From there, the team positioned Ty Magner behind the Katusha sprint train where he sprinted to eighth on the final stage.
Performance Director Jonas Carney has been with the program since its inception and knows what it takes to perform on cycling’s biggest stages.
“This race is a huge priority for our team as the biggest race in North America,” said Carney. “A lot of effort goes into preparing our athletes to compete against the best teams in the world, and we were ready to race our bikes every single stage.”
Two key factors in any successful program are consistency and depth. Both were on full display this week.
“We nearly won the KOM competition with Huffman, Magner sprinted to a pair of top tens, and McNulty finished fourth in Tahoe, seventh on GC,” said Carney. “We always want to win bike races but the key is to be competitive on a consistent basis.
Stage 7 results
1 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors 3:07:39
2 Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb
3 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5 Miguel Bryon (USA) Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources
6 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
7 Michael Rice (Aus) Hagens Berman Axeon
8 Tyler Magner (USA) Rally Cycling
9 Daniel McLay (GBr) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
10 Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
Final general classification
1 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 25:34:19
2 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:01:25
3 Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:02:14
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:02:16
5 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky 0:02:28
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:01
7 Brandon McNulty (USA) Rally Cycling 0:03:28
8 Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:03:50
9 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates 0:03:59
10 Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:01
1 Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo 34 pts
2 Evan Huffman (USA) Rally Cycling 33
3 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 26