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Powless: Urán is definitely still the team's Tour de France leader

Tour de France: Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) in the stage 1 time trial
Tour de France: Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) in the stage 1 time trial (Image credit: Getty Images)

Neilson Powless says he’ll be supporting Rigoberto Urán at the Tour de France for the overall classification and will be hunting stage victories rather than the GC. The American finished 26 seconds ahead of his team leader, but 48 seconds behind stage winner and first race leader Yves Lampaert in the opening time trial.

Powless showed impressive GC potential when he finished fourth at the Tour de Suisse last month, after an impressive eighth place at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in the spring, while Rigoberto Urán has had a slower 2022 - scoring a solitary top-10 finish at Itzulia Basque Country.

“We're still here with Rigo as our main leader,” Powless explained to Cyclingnews ahead of the start of stage 2 of the Tour de France in Roskilde. Despite an uninspiring set of results, Powless considered Uran to be in top form for this year’s race and a possible GC bid. “Just from what I saw him starting to do in Swiss and the day before he had to pull out and then also just in training leading up to this race - he's been looking super strong.

"So I really would like to back him, and I'm always there as well as a backup option, I guess," Powless added. "The first priority is definitely going to be on Rigo, and if I have to I'd sell myself for him."

"My personal priority is definitely to win a stage," he said.

Powless rode a strong first half of his TT ride on Friday, showing strong form off the back of his successful spring, but came into difficulty in the technical stretches in the route's second half.

"The first half of the race was good," he said. "I could just focus on the effort itself and it was a bit less technical than the second half, and I think I just showed that I had good legs.

"I could have really hurt myself if I pushed the limit. So I was happy to give up 10,15, 20 seconds and just know I wasn't going to crash, rather than really push it to finish tenth."

Powless also discussed the team's ostentatious kit and bike design, which has gathered more attention in the build-up to the race than the riders' form.

"I think it's just a bit more wild than the normal and professional cycling but that's what we were trying to do," Powless said. "Everybody [in the peloton] that I've spoken to has said that's super wild, but also pretty cool, too."

"Traditionally cycling is very professional looking and very high-performance single-minded focus on getting across the line as fast as possible. But I feel that with the amount of people that are watching, cycling and the amount of influence that we have, we may as well use that to push the limits in more than just performance. Because you can do both."

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Peter Stuart
Peter Stuart

Peter Stuart has been editor of Cyclingnews since March 2022, overseeing editorial output across all of Cyclingnews' digital touchpoints.

Before joining Cyclingnews, Peter was the digital editor of Rouleur magazine. Starting life as a freelance feature writer, with bylines in The Times and The Telegraph, he first entered cycling journalism in 2012, joining Cyclist magazine as staff writer. Peter has a background as an international rower, representing Great Britain at Under-23 level and at the Junior Rowing World Championships.