Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) expressed his surprise and slight amusement at finding himself in the blue jersey after the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia. Closer inspection would suggest he’s well justified, with timing errors apparently giving him a false lead in the mountains classification.
According to the official results for Saturday’s stage 1 time trial, McNulty placed eighth on the stage, 47 seconds down on the winner Remco Evenepoel. However, he is listed as covering the 2.8km climb at the end of the course in 3:51, the day’s quickest by a margin of 12 seconds, and a figure that seems too good be be true.
With the 19.6km course divided into three timing segments, the climb at the end of the otherwise flat course counted towards the mountains classification, with the fastest time over that final 2.8km taking the maximum three King of the Mountains points.
“It was quite surprising to me, honestly,” McNulty said after pulling on that blue jersey as KOM leader. “They said after I was out of the hotseat that I had to wait around for the KOM jersey, so I was surprised but it’s nice to have a jersey.
“I knew I had to pace well and go hard on the climb but I didn’t expect to be the fastest,” he added, laughing. “It’s funny.”
A closer look at the results sheet would indicate a clear error in timing.
To begin with, the official results have McNulty down in 103rd place for the opening 9.8km segment, some 1:17 down on Evenepoel’s winning time. To reach the finish line just 47 seconds down, that would mean pulling half a minute back on the second half of the course, a preposterous idea given how the Belgian smashed all opposition.
Looking back at the broadcast, the error is even clearer. McNulty is seen passing Andrea Pasqualon (Bahrain Victorious), the rider who started a minute before him, just past the half-way mark. Pasqualon is listed on the results as being three seconds faster than McNulty in that first 9.8km, when in reality he’d almost lost all of his one-minute head-start.
The official timings for the middle segment of the course, from km9.8 to km16.8, look equally dubious. McNulty is listed as the fastest, covering 7km in 6:52 for a near-impossible average speed of 61.139km/h. That’s supposedly 13 seconds faster than Evenepoel and 15 seconds faster than Filippo Ganna, whose historic 4km individual pursuit world record last year ‘only’ clocked in a shade over 60km/h.
The next on-screen timing for McNulty came at the second…
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at CyclingNews RSS Feed…