Brandon McNulty surges to another top-10 at Giro d’Italia

Joey Rosskopf rides into another breakaway and comes home with fourth on the stage.

Photo: Getty Images,

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Brandon McNulty and Joey Rosskopf were at the sharp end of the stick again at the Giro d’Italia.

The grand tour rookie at UAE-Emirates led the GC group across the line Thursday and climbed up two spots on GC into 11th overall, while CCC Team’s Rosskopf notched his second breakaway result, with fourth on the day.

“It was a good day out,” McNulty said. “The rain made it a bit miserable and there was never really an easy moment in the race.”

McNulty, 22, continues his steady progression throughout this Giro. With a big breakaway up the road, including Rosskopf, McNulty was safely tucked inside the main GC group. Rain and a lumpy profile made for a long day in the saddle.

The route looped over the hills around Marco Pantani’s hometown, and heavy pressure from NTT Pro Cycling trimmed the front group. McNulty was able to follow the leading wheels and dashed ahead of the chasing leaders to finish sixth just two days after hitting second place on stage 10.

“The pace was tough and the field just got smaller and smaller,” McNulty said. “It was nice to take the bunch sprint to get another top-10 result.”

McNulty has no expectations placed on him other than to race hard every day
McNulty has no expectations placed on him other than to race hard every day. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

With a sprinter’s chance on deck for Friday’s 13th stage, McNulty could punch into the top-10 overall if he has a strong ride in Saturday’s 34.1km individual time trial. Sunday’s summit finish at Piancavallo should see the next major GC shakeup.

Rosskopf crossed the line fourth for the second time in this Giro. The 31-year-old was also fourth in stage 8 and snuck into the day’s main breakaway in the lumpy stage. The group split up under pressure from eventual stage-winner Jhonatan Narváez (Ineos Grenadiers), but kept fighting to the line.

“The course, the riders, the way we raced was five times harder. Luckily, the legs were better, and I played it as best I could. It got a bit cold, and my legs froze up a bit there near the end,” Rosskopf said. “I was going for it. I’m happy to be at the finish. It was pretty brutal,” Rosskopf said. “After three guys went away, I was trying to stay motivated for the day and get something out of the effort. I was all-in.”

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