Hatta: “Totally gutted”, was all teenager Brandon McNulty could say after coming woefully close to registering a phenomenal stage win at the 2018 Dubai Tour here on Friday.
The 19-year-old rider from Rally Cycling eventually finished in 21st position boxed between Mark Cavendish and two-time defending champion Marcel Kittel at the top of the Hatta Dam. McNulty, a former under-23 world junior champion, had the stage win in control approaching the final climb leading to the Hatta Dam.
With the final 200 metres to go, the young rider was seen nodding his head in disbelief as he approached the final stretch. “But with 40 or 50 metres to go I ran out of steam and there was nothing left in me,” he said choked with emotion.
With the final 15km to go, McNulty was firmly in control leading by 1.3km from the chasing field. With the final 10km mark approaching, he held a 1.23 minute lead that was cut down to 59 seconds approaching the 4km mark. But a furious challenge from Bahrain-Merida with less than 3km to go saw a host of riders overtake the Rally Cycling rider.
“All I could do was turn to my right and left and just see so many riders overtake me. This could have been such a memorable moment for me and the team. Now I am left with pondering what went wrong,” he rued.
Top-10 Individual Classification on Stage Four: 1. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) 3 hrs, 40.50 secs; 2. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana Pro Team) 3:40.50; 3. Timo Roosen (Team Lotto NL-Jumbo) 3:40.50; 4. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) 3:40.50; 5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) 3:40.50; 6. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) 3:40.50; 7. Tom Bohli (BMC Racing Team) 3:40.50; 8. Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis, Solutions Credits); 9. Loic Vliegen (BMC Racing Team); 10. Nathan Van Hooydonck (BMC Racing Team).
Blue Jersey — sponsored by Commercial Bank of Dubai — (for General Classification by time): Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) 16 hrs, 00.28 secs; 2. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana Pro Team) 16:00.30; 3. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) 16:00.32; 4. Nathan Van Hooydonck (BMC Racing) 16:00.35; 5. Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis, Solutions Credits) 16:00.36; 6. Loic Vliegen (BMC Racing Team) 16:00.36; 7. Timo Roosen (Team Lotto NL-Jumbo) 16:00.38; 8. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) 16:00.42; 9. Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC Racing) 16:00.42; 10. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing) 16:00.42.
White Jersey — sponsored by Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) - (for Best Young Rider): Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana Pro Team) 16:00.30; 2. Nathan Van Hooydonck (BMC Racing) 16:00.35; 3. Loic Vliegen (BMC Racing Team) 16:00.36.
Red Jersey — sponsored by Emirates — (for General Classification by Points): 1. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) 46 pts; 2. Dylan Groenewegen (Team Lotto NL — Jumbo) 42 pts; 3. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana Pro Team) 40 pts.
UAE Flag Jersey — sponsored by Dubai Health Authority (DHA) - (for Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification): 1. Nathan Van Hooydonck (BMC Racing) 12 pts; 2. Simone Bevilacqua (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) 12 pts; 3. Loic Vliegen (BMC Racing Team) 10 pts.