Cyclingnews understands that the American is likely to be added to UAE Team Emirates’ Tour de France long list and so go on to help bolster Tadej Pogacar’s defence of his 2020 victory.
Riding the Tour de France for the first time in 2021 would fast-track McNulty's Grand Tour career. He was originally scheduled to lead UAE Team Emirates at the Giro d’Italia, with a top-10 placing set as a goal after he finished 15th overall last year.
However, the 23-year-old has improved and impressed massively this spring, during his second season at WorldTour level, only losing out on overall victory at Itzulia Basque Country after Primoz Roglic attacked him on the final hilly stage.
Instead of preparing for the Giro d’Italia, McNulty has been enjoying a break in Girona. He is likely to train at altitude in the weeks to come before any final races in June before the Tour de France starts in Brest on Saturday, June 26.
UAE Team Emirates selected Davide Formolo as team leader for the Giro d’Italia. Other riders named in the eight rider squad are sprinter Fernando Gaviria, his lead-out man Maximiliano Richeze, the USA’s Joe Dombrowski, Diego Ullissi, Valerio Conti, Juan Sebastian Molano and Alessandro Covi.
The UAE Team Emirates squad for the Tour de France is expected to be built around Pogacar, with only Marc Hirschi and sprinter Alexander Kristoff given the freedom to target specific stages.
UAE Team Emirates have signed Rafal Majka to boost their climbing strength, with former Team Sky rider David de la Cruz and Formolo considered key riders for the decisive mountain stages of the Tour de France.
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