Brandon McNulty won Il Giro di Sicilia Saturday, as Rally UHC Cycling worked to defend his Maglia Giallo Rossa leader’s jersey on the legendary slopes of Mt. Etna.
McNulty finished fourth on the final stage after his teammates, one by one, sacrificed themselves en route to the biggest GC win in their team’s history.
McNulty became the first American in the race’s 24-year history to capture the overall win.
“This is one of the proudest moments of my career,” McNulty said. “The team was incredible and gave everything for me. It was a huge team effort on what was a truly epic stage.”
Due to mountainous terrain and aggressive racing, the final stage from Giardini Naxos to Mt. Etna was difficult to control, the team said.
Time trialists Evan Huffman and Svein Tuft seized the front of the peloton and led the full team to the base of Mt. Etna. Colin Joyce took over and set the pace up the first half of the climb before Kyle Murphy, Gavin Mannion, and Rob Britton got to work managing the gap to a sole leader up the road.
With 7 km remaining, McNulty was forced to set the pace and limit the group of GC favorites’ ability to attack him.
“I knew what I had to do,” said McNulty. “My goal was to win the overall, and as we approached the final few kilometers, I knew the other riders would start looking at the stage win. I used my TT skills to defend the jersey.”
McNulty also went on to win the Best Young Rider Classification, finish second in the Points Classification behind Manuel Belletti (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec), and third in the King of the Mountain Competition. The team took third in the Team Classification.
Managing director Charles Aaron, who founded the team in 2007, was proud of the team’s accomplishment.
“Sicily was a full team effort,” Aaron said. “The team has really come together this last month, and this success shows we can compete at a very high level with North American talent.”
The team has experienced an unprecedented amount of success in only its second year in the Professional Continental ranks.
“Personally, I am very excited for the future,” Aaron said. “To have races like Sicily, Tour of Turkey, Flèche Wallone, Tour de Yorkshire, and Amgen Tour of California see value in our program is a positive sign for our team.”
Stage 4 results
1 MARTIN Guillaume Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team 14 3:37:34
2 MASNADA Fausto Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec 5 0:10
3 QUINTANA Dayer Neri Sottoli – Selle Italia – KTM 0:13
4 MCNULTY Brandon Rally UHC Cycling 0:14
5 VLASOV Aleksandr Gazprom-RusVelo 0:22
6 VISCONTI Giovanni Neri Sottoli – Selle Italia – KTM 0:36
7 POLANC Jan UAE-Team Emirates 0:42
8 BADILATTI Matteo Israel Cycling Academy 0:44
9 RIES Michel Kometa Cycling Team 0:47
10 FINETTO Mauro Delko Marseille Provence 1:11
Final General Classification
1 MCNULTY Brandon Rally UHC Cycling 18:07:24
2 MARTIN Guillaume Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team 0:42
3 MASNADA Fausto Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec 0:56
4 VLASOV Aleksandr Gazprom-RusVelo 1:11
5 VISCONTI Giovanni Neri Sottoli – Selle Italia – KTM 1:24
6 POLANC Jan UAE-Team Emirates 1:34
7 QUINTANA Dayer Neri Sottoli – Selle Italia – KTM 2:02
8 FINETTO Mauro Delko Marseille Provence 2:03
9 RIES Michel Kometa Cycling Team 2:11
10 PETILLI Simone UAE-Team Emirates 2:16
1 BELLETTI Manuel Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec 25
2 MCNULTY Brandon Rally UHC Cycling 19
3 MARTIN Guillaume Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team 14
King of the Mountain Competition
1 MASNADA Fausto Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec 27
2 MARTIN Guillaume Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team 20
3 MCNULTY Brandon Rally UHC Cycling 12
Content and photos provided by Rally UHC Cycling