Powless well placed for Paris-Nice GC battle

SAINTCYRLECOLE FRANCE MARCH 07 Arrival Neilson Powless of United States and Team EF Education Nippo during the 79th Paris Nice 2021 Stage 1 a 166km stage from SaintCyrlEcole to SaintCyrlEcole ParisNice on March 07 2021 in SaintCyrlEcole France Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Paris-Nice’s time trial stage in Gien could hardly have gone better for EF Education-Nippo, who claimed the day’s spoils thanks to 22-year-old flying Swiss sensation Stefan Bissegger and saw their main hope for the GC, Neilson Powless, record a time that underlined his strong start to the season. Fifth in the recent UAE Tour, which opened the WorldTour calendar a couple of weeks ago, the 24-year-old American is well placed to repeat that impressive performance as “the race to the sun” reaches his favoured terrain in the hills.

 “After last year, when I started training again I felt like I took a pretty big step up, so I just hope that I can keep the momentum rolling from UAE,” Powless said prior to Paris-Nice’s opening stage in Saint-Cyr-L’École. 

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).