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McNulty loses time in Dauphiné TT after nightmare mechanical

Brandon McNulty during the time trial at the Criterium du Dauphine
Brandon McNulty during the time trial at the Criterium du Dauphine (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

American Brandon McNulty had high hopes for stage 4 of the Critérium du Dauphiné to use his time trialling prowess to move into GC contention. However, a miserable mechanical along the route proved fatal to any hopes to close a gap to leader Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).

Just minutes into McNulty's effort in the 31.9km time trial, the 24-year-old stopped with what appeared to be a jammed chain. The UAE Team Emirates mechanic jumped from the team car to hand off a spare bike, but McNulty waved off the offer in order to have assistance to remount the chain. 

In what seemed like an unusually long attempt to repair the original machine, McNulty reacting by banging his top tube while the mechanic fumbled with the rear wheel. The young American thrust his arms in the air while the mechanic eventually ran back, took a new bike off the rack. McNulty mounted the new machine and was pushed off but the delay costing him 40-50 seconds on the stage, but bigger damage in the overall standings.

By the time McNulty put an end to his nightmare at the finish line in La Bâtie d’Urfé, he was 2:21 down on stage winner Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) and had plummeted nine spots and another 2:19 in the GC standing, now 20th overall. 

McNulty had entered the midpoint of the Dauphiné as the top rider for UAE Team Emirates when he finished 10th on Tuesday, riding with the main favourites on the ascent of the second-category climb to Chastreix-Sancy. After stage 3, he had moved to within 16 seconds of Van Aert and was positioned 11th on GC. 

The US Olympian, who was sixth in the Tokyo road race, had already won three times this season, including a stage at Paris-Nice. His specialty is the time trial, having won a world title in the race against the clock as a junior, but the next four days across France are filled with mountains and may have put an end to his podium hopes.

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Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).