Neilson Powless, the under-23 U.S. national road race champion, has signed a two-year deal with the WorldTour team LottoNL-Jumbo.
“I’m almost at a loss for words at the moment,” Powless said in a team release. “I’ve been aiming to race in the WorldTour for a very long time and now I’ll finally get the opportunity to do so with team LottoNL-Jumbo. My interactions with the team and staff up to this point have already exceeded my expectations of what I thought a world tour team would be like. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store.”
The 21-year-old was one of the most sought after young talents among WorldTour squads. Powless has shown great strength against the clock, powering to second at the U.S. pro national time trial championships in June. In May, he won the opening stage of the Giro Bio, the under-23 version of the Giro d’Italia, as he went on to finish sixth overall. He also claimed second on the final stage at the Tour de l’Avenir in August.
“Powless is considered as one of the most talented riders of his generation”, sportive director Merijn Zeeman said. “It’s great news that he has chosen to join us, since he had several different opportunities. He prefers our team because he sees and believes that we develop young riders in a good way and that they improve while being prepared for the next level by us. It’s a nice confirmation of our policy and a proof for us of being on the right way.”
Powless has spent the last two seasons riding for the prestigious Axeon Hagens Berman team and developing under the watchful eye of team owner Axel Merckx.