Riding for the United States, 2016 Junior Time Trial World Champion Brandon McNulty powered to a silver medal in the Under-23 Time Trial World Championships. The 19-year-old set an impressive time of 48:12.40 on the 37.2-kilometer course around Bergen, Norway. The only rider to top McNulty was Mikkel Bjerg of Denmark. McNulty’s performance highlights his determination and focus after battling back from a fractured pelvis suffered earlier in the season.
Brandon McNulty on the second step of the podium
“It’s awesome to be able to podium here,” said McNulty. “This race has been my focus for several months; I had a good ride, but Mikkel (Bjerg) was incredible over the second half of the course. I would have loved to end the season in the rainbow jersey, but I have to be satisfied with my first season as a pro. My crash in Alentejo could have derailed everything. For the first couple weeks, I was on crutches and had to do a lot of therapy in the pool before I could get back on the bike. For a fractured pelvis, my recovery progressed quickly, and I was able to pull off some good results later in the season.”
The 37.2-kilometer course in Bergen started with a 16.1-kilometer short loop that led to the larger and final loop of the day. At 24.5 kilometers, the course hit the Birkelundsbakken, a 1.4-kilometer climb that averages 7.2 percent but pitched up to 9.1 percent at the top, where just over 11 kilometers of fast, mostly downhill roads led to the finish. McNulty started his silver medal run slower than his rivals, rolling through the first time check in eighth place. He recorded the fourth fastest time at checkpoint two before turning on the afterburners and setting the second fastest time at the remaining time checks.
McNulty flew through the streets of Bergen, Norway, at an average speed of 46.30 kmh
It has been a tremendous debut season for the Phoenix, Arizona resident. In his first season in the professional ranks, he won the US U-23 Time Trial National Championship and captured his first professional victory in the opening stage of the North Star Grand Prix. In addition to high-profile wins, he finished second overall at the Redlands Bicycle Classic after fracturing his pelvis at the Volta ao Alentejo in February. Suffering such a traumatic injury could have ended his season though McNulty showed incredible strength of character to return and assume his place at the front of the peloton.
Rally Cycling riders will look to collect more medals throughout the week in Norway. Rob Britton is set to compete for Canada in the Men’s Elite Time Trial on Wednesday, while Kirsti Lay and Sara Bergen aim for gold in Saturday’s Women’s Elite Road Race. Megan Heath will take to the start line on Friday for the United States in the Women’s Junior Road Race. After finishing second at the US National Championships, Heath is considered one of the United States’ best hopes for a medal.
Under-23 Time Trial World Championships
1. Mikkel Bjerg (Denmark)
2. Brandon McNulty (United States Of America)
3. Corentin Ermenault (France)
4. Tom Wirtgen (Luxembourg)
5. Callum Scotson (Australia)
6. Senne Leysen (Belgium)
7. Kasper Asgreen (Denmark)
8. Edoardo Affini (Italy)
9. Neilson Powless (United States Of America)
10. Scott Davies (Great Britain)