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Brandon McNulty renews at UAE Team Emirates to back Tadej Pogačar through 2024

UAE keeps its core Tour de France group together, with Rafal Majka, Diego Ulissi and Mikkel Bjerg also to remain two more years.

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The strong performances by American rider Brandon McNulty in the Tour de France and other races this season have been rewarded with a new contract with Tadej Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates squad.

McNulty, Rafal Majka, Diego Ulissi and Mikkel Bjerg have all extended until the end of 2024, and will be key components in Pogačar’s bid to triumph in future Tours and other races.

McNulty put in a storming ride on stage 17 of this year’s Tour, shredding the Jumbo-Visma team and setting up Pogačar for a head to head with Jonas Vingegaard at Peyragudes. Pogačar won the stage, while McNulty took third.

The 24-year-old finished 20th overall in Paris and third in the best young rider classification, highlighting his ability.

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He also took three victories this season, winning the Trofeo Calvia in January, the Faun-Ardèche Classic in February and stage 5 of Paris-Nice in March. He finished second overall in the Volta ao Algarve, 12th in Paris-Nice and 11th in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

McNulty was highly praised by Pogačar during the Tour. He already received a vote of confidence from the team last season when it extended his contract by two years; Friday’s announcement now sees another year added onto his current deal.

Majka has been a key rider for Pogačar since joining UAE Team Emirates in 2021. He played an important role in the Slovenian’s Tour success then and has also landed wins himself, including a stage in last year’s Vuelta España and two in this year’s Tour of Slovenia.

He caught COVID-19 during this year’s Tour but the viral levels were low enough for him to continue, providing Pogačar with important support before leaving the Tour due to injury.

Bjerg was also an important domestique in the race and, like McNulty, came on board in 2020 as a young rider who is part of the team’s long-term strategy for the future.

As for Ulissi, the Italian has been part of the team since its formation in 2017. Described by UAE Team Emirates as “amongst its most successful and consistent performers over many years,” he has 54 career wins to his credit.

Pogačar is determined to bounce back from his runner-up slot in this year’s Tour. He and the team will make many changes to boost his prospects of beating Jonas Vingegaard, but McNulty, Majka, Bjerg and Ulissi are factors the team sees as strengths.