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by Neal Rogers
December 22, 2016
There were countless stories to emerge during the 2016 season that had great significance, and impact, on American cycling. These were the 10 most important.
1. Kristin Armstrong, Olympic time trial champion
2. Megan Guarnier, 2016 UCI Women’s WorldTour champion
3. Amber Neben, world time trial champion
4. Axeon Hagens Berman: Best development team of all time?
5. Andrew Talansky, fifth overall, Vuelta a España
6. Brandon McNulty, junior world time trial champion
7. Tejay van Garderen loses Tour leadership role at BMC Racing
8. Cannondale-Drapac goes without a WorldTour victory
9. Amgen Tour of California to become a WorldTour event in 2017
10. Mara Abbott’s heartbreaking ride at the Rio Olympic road race
After taking bronze at the 2015 worlds in Richmond, Virginia, Arizona’s Brandon McNulty stepped onto the top step in Doha, Qatar, becoming the third American to take the junior world time trial championship, slotting his name alongside Greg LeMond (1979) and Taylor Phinney (2007). His winning time of 34:42 was 35 seconds faster than second place, and would have placed him third in the U23 category.
“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,” he said.
McNulty got into cycling at a young age when his father introduced him to mountain biking on the trails near their Phoenix home. He raced his first mountain-bike event at the age of eight before taking to the road at 12. Once on the road, he quickly worked his way through the junior ranks, eventually becoming one of the top juniors in the world.
His 2016 season includes general classification victories at Tour du Pays de Vaud, Trofeo Karlsberg, and Tour de l’Abitibi. He won two time trials at the Tour de l’Abitibi and one at the Trofeo Karlsberg. He also won the GC at the 2015 Tour de l’Abitibi.
McNulty will ride with the U.S. Continental team Rally Cycling in 2017.
“While our program is not a ‘development’ team, we have a lot of experience nurturing young riders,” said team manager Jonas Carney. “Brandon is a big talent, and it’s important that he learns as much as possible over the next couple years so that he is fully prepared for a career in Europe Our program is an excellent choice as it offers him stability, a positive environment, and the opportunity to learn from experienced riders.”