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Powless extends with EF Education-Nippo after San Sebastian win

Neilson Powless after his victory in San Sebastian
Neilson Powless after his victory in San Sebastian (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

After taking his first professional victory at the Clasica San Sebastian on Saturday, Neilson Powless has extended his contract with EF Education-Nippo, the team announced.

"Neilson is a big part of this team's heart and a big part of its future," says team CEO Jonathan Vaughters. "Most importantly, he's a truly upstanding person. We absolutely love having him on the team. I look forward to what we'll accomplish together over the coming seasons."

Powless, 24, turned professional with LottoNL-Jumbo in 2018 after graduating from the Axeon Hagens Berman programme but moved across to EF-Nippo after two seasons. He played an important part in the American team's Tour de France squad in 2020 and 2021.

Powless won the Clasica San Sebastian from a breakaway in a rainy race that saw two of his fellow escapees crash out of the move on the run-in to the finish. He out-sprinted Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) and Deceuninck-Quickstep's Mikkel Honoré to take his first WorldTour win.

"I can’t even put into words how much this means to me," Powless said after the victory. "I think the guys who were in front of me were maybe too focussed on the situation of the race and not so much the road. I could see it was a sharp corner coming up that they ended up crashing in. In the end, I was just happy to keep upright, and stay as fresh as possible for the end."

Now, with some security for the near future, Powless hopes to continue to be a positive influence on his teammates.

"I feel that having that motivation, no matter what situation you are in, can sort of bleed over into the other riders and influence the rest of the team as well and can really just bring the team up to another level," Powless said in the team press release.

"Just staying positive and staying motivated at all times is something that I am pretty good at, maybe sometimes to a fault, but I am always eager and motivated to do something every day, no matter what is happening in the race."