Neilson Powless extends through 2027
With new extension, the American’s ambitions are higher than ever
Neilson Powless is coming into his own.
2023 was the American’s best year yet. He just became a father. His ambitions now are greater than ever. Neilson recently extended his contract with our team through the 2027 season and is ready to lead EF Education-EasyPost into the future.
“It is a pretty awesome feeling,” Neilson says. “I joined the team in 2020 and have just grown so much here and developed so much as a rider and a person. Every year, I have been getting better with this team and its support and structure. It was pretty clear that this place felt like the best place for me to succeed and continue to grow. I just feel so at home here and am really happy with the direction of my career and the people that I have around me to support that.”
Ever since Neilson joined our team in 2020, he has been a stalwart racer. Wins at the Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa, Japan Cup, Etoile de Bessèges, and Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise, a podium at Dwaars door Vlaanderen and fifth place at the Tour of Flanders, plus a stellar run in the King of the Mountains jersey during this year’s Tour de France are crowning moments from his time in EF Education-EasyPost pink so far. The contributions he makes on the road and in the bus every time that he pins on a number are just as valuable.
“Neilson has a very strong sense of team—of family,” says EF Education-EasyPost CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “He brings his best to every day he races. He never shows up unprepared. He always wants to do the best he can for his team. That’s an example his teammates should look to for direction and exactly why I’m happy to sign him up for the coming years.”
"Neilson has a very strong sense of team—of family."
Neilson credits the atmosphere that we have created at EF Education-EasyPost for his success. This team feels like home to him.
“I think this team just really knows how to get the best out of each person,” Neilson says. “This team has a lot of different kinds of people, from all over the world. I think we are probably the most international team in the WorldTour and being able to pull success from people from all over the globe, from so many different places, bringing them all together on one team and getting the most out of them as a person and as an athlete and as a team player, is a pretty difficult task, but the people that we have who facilitate that and try to make it a reality have figured out a great way to do it. I mean, I just love going to bike races and spending time with all of the guys on the team. The team atmosphere is just so good and it is always just a really great experience to go to a race. Winning is always the ambition and the goal, but no matter the result, the team atmosphere and the way we work together is always where it needs to be, and if there are any changes that need to be made, those issues get addressed immediately and everyone can learn from them and move on. The way that the team operates is one of a kind.”
Our team’s open-mindedness is also a huge plus for Neilson. He has become one of the most versatile racers in the peloton, ready to go toe-to-toe with the best climbers in the world over the Tour de France’s highest cols and the top classics riders on Belgium’s cobbled bergs. Never one to be boxed in, he has been encouraged to go out and keep breaking down walls by trying new things. That keeps him motivated for the future.
"I have been loving racing my bike these last few years, because I have been able to try a lot of new things and learn a lot about myself."
“It feels like I am getting physically stronger, but I am also just learning new ways to race and learning about different types of races that I can be competitive in and just being on a self-discovery path like that at this level is really exciting,” Neilson says. “This year was a really big eye opener for me in terms of being able to go after wins in the spring classics. That is a really, really exciting path, an exciting adventure for me to try to go after. Those were races that I didn’t really think I was going to be able to be a part of, but I just think it was awesome that I was in a team that was willing to take a chance on it and give it a try. Those races were just so much fun. I have been loving racing my bike these last few years, because I have been able to try a lot of new things and learn a lot about myself in those moments, and I think that is probably what has helped me grow and improve even faster.”
Neilson’s teammates also keep him motivated. Professional cyclists spend a lot of time together at camps and on the road, but with the riders we have on our squad those moments are always enjoyable experiences, which makes it much easier for Neilson to keep pushing hard.
“I definitely miss my family when I go to a camp, but they are genuinely really fun,” Neilson says. “I think that is just because of the group of guys we have. I don’t think I have ever been to a training camp where I was bored or didn’t want to be there anymore. It is always just like we are going to hang out with a bunch of friends and enjoy riding bikes, and I feel like that is the way it should be. It should be a career that you get a lot of joy out of, because at the end of the day, we chose this career, we chose this sport, because we love it, and you don’t want to lose that. This team definitely keeps that dream alive, which is awesome.”
The bonds formed during those camps or on long trips help Neilson and his teammates ride better during those critical, chaotic moments in races when they have to put their trust in each other and make split-second decisions and moves for one another on the fly. Neilson is very aware of the efforts that his teammates make for him and is always determined to finish off the job.
“There have been plenty of races, especially this last year in the classics, when having a teammate just completely sell out for me would absolutely make or break my race, and having teammates who were willing to make that sacrifice and were happy to do it, were happy to just suffer for me, knowing that it is for me, not for them, that really hits deep,” Neilson says. “It gives me a lot of motivation, a lot of confidence, and it makes me really appreciate the guys that I have around me, the guys who are willing to go through that pain for me, knowing that they aren’t going for a result themselves, but that they are going through all of that pain to put me in a position to do well, that really makes me want to go even deeper.”
For the coming years, Neilson’s ambitions know few bounds. He and his teammates are going to race for big wins.
“I would like to win a cobbled classic,” he says. “I would like to win a Monument and keep going after world championships every year. This is an Olympic year coming up as well. I have a lot of one-day racing ambitions, and then, obviously, there is the Tour de France. You always want to show up to the Tour with the best form you can to race the best guys in the world when they are at their peak fitness, but the cobbled classics and the Monuments are special races in their own right. It feels like I am knocking at the door of one of those races, so I hope I can nail one next year.”
We hope so too, Neilson. No matter what, we’re excited to watch you keep progressing as a racer and go after those victories in EF Education-EasyPost pink.