Brandon McNulty: I'm determined to keep churning out wins for UAE Team Emirates

In the latest column from the team, American rider talks about the stage win at Paris-Nice - his first on World Tour

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As I crossed the Paris-Nice stage five finish line last week, I realised a goal that I have been working towards my entire life. The countless hours of training all came to fruition as I reached the finish in Saint-Sauveur-de-Montagut for a first stage win on the World Tour. With my arms aloft and wearing a smile from ear to ear, a huge wave of emotion came over me as I thought about all the different people that have contributed to getting me to where I am today.

Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, I found myself on a bike from as early as I can remember. My parents have been an enormous influence on not only my career but also my life. They were incredibly supportive and sacrificed a lot for me growing up; driving me across the United States to compete in races all-year round.

My father himself is an avid cyclist, so looking back it was no surprise that I was racing from a young age. I have fond memories of us riding together in my younger years, and still cherish the chance to get out on the saddle with him when I’m back home in Phoenix.

Entering my third year at UAE Team Emirates, I knew this would be a huge opportunity to start the season strong and get my first win with the team on the board.

We had a great team-building camp in Dubai and Abu Dhabi back in October where we were able to really bond as a team and get to know all the new faces that were brought in. The camaraderie and team-spirit in our group is clear to see, and a massive factor in our early success this season - 36 podiums and 18 wins already and we’re only in March!

The great team on the road is supported by a great team that work tirelessly behind the scenes. We are very lucky to be supported by the best staff in the world – from coaches to mechanics to nutritionists and masseurs. We have all the tools to be successful as a team, so it’s just about sticking together and trusting each other to get the job done. We’re in for one hell of a season!

The camaraderie is a massive factor in our early success this season - 36 podiums and 18 wins already and we’re only in March

From a personal point of view, winning my first stage on the World Tour was the greatest moment of my career to date. Attacking with almost 40km to go on the Col De La Mure was a gamble, so to finish nearly two minutes ahead of the next rider was a dream come true. It’s hard to put into words the feeling afterwards. It was unbelievable!

I had worked my whole career for this moment, so it has made me even hungrier and more determined to keep churning out stage wins and helping the team.

The win felt even more special as I was thinking about pulling out of the race on the morning of it. I had a bad crash on the second day, my energy levels were depleted, and I was pretty banged up, but as the stage went on, I started to feel better and better and more confident.

As a team, it was a great race. Winning a stage, Joao Almeida winning the white jersey and the team taking home the team classification award represented a really strong performance from everyone involved.

We have some big races coming up like the Tour of the Basque Country, Vuelta Espana, and obviously the Tour De France which has been a dream of mine since I first clipped on my helmet and sat on the saddle. We’ve made a great start and have no intentions of slowing down.

I’m learning from some of the best riders in the world and representing a fantastic country on the world stage, it’s very special and I’m immensely grateful. Thank you to all our fans in the UAE for your support up to now, and I can’t wait to produce more wins in the future with the UAE flag on my jersey.

Updated: March 18, 2022, 6:13 AM