Brandon McNulty will move up to WorldTour level in 2020 after agreeing a three-year contract with UAE Team Emirates. The 21-year-old has spent the past three seasons at Rally Cycling, and he claimed a fine victory at the Giro di Sicilia earlier this season.
“My initial feelings about joining the WorldTour are pure excitement. I’ve been patient with my development over the last few years, and now I can say that I feel I am ready to make the jump and I’m excited for the challenges to come,” McNulty said in a statement released by UAE Team Emirates. “I’d like to thank to my current team, Rally Cycling.”
A native of Phoenix, Arizona, McNulty highlighted his potential as a junior, when he raced for the Lux-Stradling team, managed by the former La Vie Claire and 7-Eleven rider Roy Knickman. McNulty took bronze in the junior time trial at the World Championships in Richmond in 2015 and then claimed the rainbow jersey in emphatic fashion in Doha a year later.
Rather than make an immediate step up to WorldTour level, McNulty opted to continue his development in the United States, signing for Rally. He took the silver medal in the under-23 Worlds time trial in Bergen in 2017 and placed an impressive 7th overall at the 2018 Tour of California.
McNulty began 2019 with 9th place at the Tour of Oman and then claimed the overall title at the Giro di Sicilia after winning in Ragusa and then placing 4th on the summit finish atop Mount Etna the following day.
McNulty joins an impressive cadre of young talent at UAE Team Emirates, whose roster already includes Tadej Pogacar, winner of the Volta ao Algave and the Tour of California this season, as well as Jasper Philipsen and Camilo Ardila.
“I chose UAE Team Emirates because of their interest in long term development in me as a rider and also the team. There’s obviously already a very strong crop of young riders on the team already which is exciting for the future,” McNulty said.
“My main goal is to become the best rider that I can be. If I can do that then I think some nice results will come.”
UAE Team Emirates general manager Joxean Matxin hailed the arrival of McNulty.
“Brandon is a world-class talent, with two key qualities that few riders his age possess: the ability to combine both climbing and time trialling at a high level,” Matxin said. “Many teams wanted to sign Brandon, and we are very pleased to have secured the opportunity to welcome him into our team.”