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Brandon McNulty bags first Grand Tour win before Giro d’Italia’s final rest day

Brandon McNulty bags first Grand Tour win before Giro d'Italia's final rest day

In several ways, the 106th Giro d’Italia has been less than ideal, but it has been a playground for breakaways. On Sunday, the eighth winner out of 15 stages–two of which were time trials–was a fugitive, American Brandon McNulty, who beat Irishman Ben Healy and Marco Frigo in a three-up sprint. Bruno Armirail, the first Frenchman to lead the Giro since 1999, kept the pink jersey, although he lost just over 30 seconds to the GC favourites.

The Course

Four mountains dominated the profile of Sunday’s mini-Il Lombardia stage, of which only the first was Cat. 1. The last of the trio of Cat. 2 ascents was Roncola Alta, 10 km of 6.7 percent, cresting 30 km from the finish in Bergamo and positioned in the middle of a 55-km circuit. Hey, it was sunny!

Assured that the GC favorites weren’t going to make any kind of fuss in Week 2, a 17-rider break formed–with no Derek Gee this time–and bounded across the landscape. Stage 8 winner Healy beat Stage 13 winner Einer Rubio to be the first over the Cat. 1 Valico di Valcava.

Healy got the better of Movistar’s Colombian on Selvino, but Rubio returned the favour on Miragolo San Salvatore. Both fellows were creeping up on Thibaut Pinot and blue jersey wearer Davide Bais.

Just before Roncola Alta, fugitive Niccolò Bonifazio (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), one of eight Italians in the original break, attacked and started a solo expedition. Bonifazio had lit the fuse, and he was soon overtaken by Healy, McNulty and Marco Frigo, with Rubio trying to bridge. Healy unhitched the others and tipped over the top solo.

McNulty and Healy reunited for the descent. Frigo made a fine effort to come back as well; he was popped off again but returned for the climaz. In the sprint, McNulty was too strong for the Irishman and Italian.

Monday is the final rest day before the very difficult last week.

2023 Giro d’Italia Stage 15
1) Brandon McNulty (USA/UAE-Emirates) 5:13:39
2) Ben Healy (Ireland/EF Education-Easypost)
3) Marco Frigo (Israel-Premier Tech)

2023 Giro d’Italia…

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