Brandon McNulty Powers to Victory in North Star Grand Prix Opener

Brandon McNulty

Junior World Time Trial Champion Smashes Course Record, Takes First Professional Win

The Rally Cycling men completed step one in defending their six-year win streak at the North Star Grand Prix by taking the top two spots in the stage one Riverfront Time Trial. McNulty stormed the out-and-back course in a time of 9:16, a new course record. McNulty was seven seconds faster than his teammate, and last year’s overall winner, Evan Huffman on the 5-mile course along the east bank of the Mississippi. Bryan Gomez (Gateway Harley-Davidson) finished third. Known as a sprinter but still defining his talents at just 22 years of age, Colin Joyce put together an impressive ride as well for fifth on the day.

“This is my first win in the professional ranks, and to do it at the team’s hometown race is special,” said McNulty. “I have been building toward Nationals, which is just a couple of weeks away, so I am pretty close to where I need to be. It has been a long road back from my injury at the Volta ao Alentejo. For the first couple weeks, I was on crutches and had to do a lot of therapy in the pool before I could get back on the bike. For a fractured pelvis, the recovery went as well as could be expected, but it set me back. Today was confirmation that I am moving in the right direction before Nationals.”

Kirsti Lay powers to a strong ninth place finish

The women of Rally Cycling had a strong start, with Emma White coming home in fifth, less than five seconds behind the winner. Kirsti Lay finished ninth, 18 seconds back and Allison Beveridge rounded out the top ten to give Rally Cycling three riders within striking distance of the podium. White, like McNulty, was a Junior Worlds medalist in 2015 having earned silver in both the time trial and road race in Richmond, Virginia. Lay and Beveridge are Olympic bronze medalists in the team pursuit at the 2016 Rio Games.

“Today’s results are a solid start and put us in a good position to have a run at the overall,” said Team Director Zach Bell. “Emma and Allison showed they are continuing to trend towards their top form and Kirsti continued her run of consistent finishes. The riders always expect a lot of themselves, and it is a good start that keeps all our goals for this important race on the table.”

The women and men will look to climb onto their respective podiums as the North Star Grand Prix continues with the St. Paul Criterium later Wednesday evening, and the Cannon Falls Road Race on Thursday. On Friday the race moves to Minneapolis for the Uptown Criterium, and concludes over the weekend with the North Mankato Road Race on Saturday and the infamous Stillwater Criterium on Sunday.

North Star Grand Prix Stage 1 | Men
1. Brandon McNulty (Rally Cycling) 9:16
2. Evan Huffman (Rally Cycling)
3. Bryan Gomez (Gateway Harley-Davidson-Trek)
4. Mackenzie Brennan (Holowesko-Citadel)
5. Colin Joyce (Rally Cycling)
6. Tyler Magner (Holowesko-Citadel)
7. John Murphy (Holowesko-Citadel)
8. Innokenty Zavyalov (Elevate-KHS)
9. Cory Lockwood (Elevate-KHS)
10. George Simpson (Gateway Harley-Davidson-Trek)

North Star Grand Prix Stage 1 | Women
1. Rushlee Buchanan (UnitedHealthcare    10:36
2. Brianna Walle (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank)
3. Tayler Wiles (UnitedHealthcare)
4. Ingrid Drexel Clouthier (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank)
5. Emma White (Rally Cycling)
6. Annie Foreman-Mackey (The Cyclery – 411)
7. Ruth Winder (UnitedHealthcare)
8. Marlies Mejias Garcia (Weber Shimano)
9. Kirsti Lay (Rally Cycling)
10. Allison Beveridge (Rally Cycling)

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