Cycling News

Brandon McNulty vaults into Paris-Nice lead with UAE-Emirates team time trial triumph

Brandon McNulty vaults into Paris-Nice lead with UAE-Emirates team time trial triumph

After a couple of days of sprinting at the 82nd Paris-Nice, the GC picture came into sharper focus following Tuesday’s team time trial. With UAE-Emirates’ victory, Brandon McNulty, in fine form early in the season, took over the yellow jersey from the first Kiwi to lead the Race to the Sun, Laurence Pithie. American McNulty is tied on time with three teammates, Remco Evenepoel is 18 seconds back, Egan Bernal 20 seconds behind and Primož Roglič +0:54.

The Course

Over 26.9 km around Auxerre, the route included a couple of lumps, the second acting as the intermediate time check. Crosswinds and rain later in the day made the task more difficult. There was an uphill finish.

Guillaume Boivin and Hugo Houle’s Israel-Premier Tech was the first to roll, and the squad posted the first intermediate time of 20:25.

Boivin and Houle’s Israel-Premier Tech was the first team to face the time trial.

After six teams finished, Astana was tops with 32:02. UAE-Emirates cracked that by 39 seconds.

There was anticipation that Remco Evenepoel would climb into the lead after a solid performance from his Soudal-Quick Step outfit. They smashed the best intermediate time by 17 seconds.

Visma-Lease a Bike was the second to last to launch. The squad opted for their comically large helmets. The rain began to fall.

Visma with their Darth Vader helmets about to drop the ramp.

Primož Roglič was contesting his first race with Bora-Hansgrohe and coming to terms with the limitations of his new squad as he recorded the second fastest intermediate time with only two teammates.

Only two teammates with Roglic midway through the route.

To everyone’s astonishment, Evenepoel’s team faded in the rain, the Belgian crossing in provisional fourth +0:21 of UAE-Emirates.

Behind, Visma had posted the fifth fastest intermediate time. Roglič carried on with two fellows and could only conjure up 32:17, 11th after Visma (6th) and Pithie’s Groupama-FDJ (14th) finished.

Jayco-AlUla was runner-up and the pink armada of EF Education-EasyPost placed third.

Wednesday is the first mountain stage, with a short, steep Cat. 2 summit finish.


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