Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 July 2020

Brandon McNulty: I can't wait for the season to resume to show UAE Team Emirates what I can do

In this week's column from UAE Team Emirates, American cyclist McNulty talks about how he joined the team, an active WhatsApp group, and how he stay fit in Arizona

Brandon McNulty only joined UAE Team Emirates at the start of the year. Courtesy photo
Brandon McNulty only joined UAE Team Emirates at the start of the year. Courtesy photo

I think it is fair to say that my first season on the World Tour has been less than normal.

My season was halted in the middle of the UAE Tour in February due to the Covid-19 outbreak, but it’s been a tumultuous year for everyone. It really puts everything into perspective.

Credit must go to the UAE Government for acting as quickly as they did during the UAE Tour, especially when a lot of other sporting events were still going on around the world.

It’s my first season at this level and my first with UAE Team Emirates. I’d been in contact with Matxin Fernandez, the team manager, for a few years and then team principal and CEO, Mauro Gianetti. It was an easy decision to join the team after seeing the way their young riders performed last season.

It is exciting to be a part of a growing team and I can’t wait to show what I can do when we get back to racing. We’ve got a lot of pro racing experience as part of the management team with Matxin, Mauro and Neil Stephens all adding a wealth of knowledge. I’m looking forward to learning from everyone when the lockdown is lifted and everything goes back to some sense of normality.

As a team we have riders from all over the world meaning we are all quarantining in different countries. I was lucky to have been able to get back to the US before things started to get really bad, so I’m at home with my family and girlfriend in Phoenix, Arizona. We are still allowed to be outside, so life isn’t too drastically different yet, aside from not going to restaurants or doing a ride to the coffee shop.

We’ve got a team WhatsApp group that has been very active. We’ve all got a lot more free time now with no racing so it’s been very fun. The morale in the squad is high. We’ve got a really good group although the majority of messages come through when I’m asleep as I’m nine hours behind a lot of the team.

During the winter the weather is perfect here, so I was able to get a really solid base of training in which allows me to be in good form early in the year and hit the ground running. I performed well in San Juan and the Ruta, so it was really disappointing the season had to come to a pause, but understandable.

With so much uncertainty in the race schedule I’ve been trying to have fun and also been on the mountain bike a lot to keep up my fitness levels. My coach, Inigo San Milan, has been great. He’s mainly advised me to just enjoy being able to ride outside and not worry too much about a structured training schedule.

As sportsmen it’s obviously important to stay fit but also keep the body and mind stress-free with the possibility of the racing calendar extending into November.

Me and my family are still healthy and we’re remaining positive about the whole situation. As long as we have our health, we are happy.

Updated: April 30, 2020 07:09 AM

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