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Neilson Powless won’t defend Clásica San Sebastián title

US rider was feeling a bit worn down and ill after the hard-fought Tour de France, and made the hard decision not to race.

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Neilson Powless won’t defend his Clásica San Sebastián title Saturday in Spain’s Basque Country.

EF Education First-EasyPost attended the team presentation Friday evening in San Sebastián, and the team will start without the defending champion on its roster.

Officials said Powless was feeling a bit worn down and ill after the hard-fought Tour de France, and made the hard decision not to race.

EF Education First-EasyPost will line up with Ruben Guerreiro, Alberto Bettiol, Rigoberto Urán, Esteban Chaves, Merhawi Kudus, Odd Eiking, and Simon Carr.

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Last year, Powless won his first WorldTour race in a thrilling three-up sprint in what was also his first pro victory.

Powless recently concluded his third and most successful Tour de France to date, finishing 13th overall in Paris. He was also fourth on two of the Tour’s most important stages, over the cobbles in stage 5 and up Alpe d’Huez. Powless also came within four seconds of wearing the yellow jersey.

There are currently no other races on Powless’s schedule, but a return to the road worlds could be in the cards in Australia in September. Last year in Flanders, he hit fifth in the best U.S. elite men’s result in a generation.