By TRT Staff with notes from efprocycling.com
JAPAN — The penultimate race of the season and traditional denouement of the road-racing calendar – the Japan Cup – delivered a spectacular race on Sunday October 16.
Neilson Powless, Oneida Nation, soloed to victory at the Japan Cup, with teammate Andrea Piccolo following up to make it a 1-2 for EF Education-EasyPost.
Powless sped from a select group of favourites towards the end of the penultimate lap of the hilly Utsunomiya City circuit and rode just over 10km alone to the line.
After the last of 14 ascents of the Kogashiyama climb, Piccolo, having first played the part of disruptor, then attacked from the fraying group on the run-in to double up for EF.
The 14-kilometre circuit around Mount Kogashi in the outskirts of Utsunomiya favours the brave and the team executed their bold strategy to perfection.
Neilson Powless waited until the penultimate time up Mount Kogashi to launch his attack. Crossing the start, finish line with a small gap, he kept heavy on the pedals, pushing himself to the limits around the corners of the descent to go clear.
Piccolo, who is just in his third month with the team, put on a clinic of how to disrupt a chase and with Neilson solidly in front and the riders in his group struggling to make up any distance to the charging American, Piccolo launched an attack of his own to secure the top two places on the podium for the team.
Hands held high in triumph, Powless crossed the line ahead of a jubilant Piccolo who took the time to celebrate his teammate’s victory as well.
Viewing his stats online, it would seem that a race near 150kms is the sweet spot for Powless. This is his second victory of his career and wraps up another stellar year for the young American climber.