On September 9 of 2020, USA Cycling announced that Neilson Powless, Oneida, would represent the United States in the Elite Men’s Time Trial and Road Race at the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Imola, Italy on September 24-27, 2020.
In 2020, Powless also made headlines by becoming the first Native American to ride in the Tour de France.
This year, in June, Powless became the highest ranked American in the world of Pro-Cycling.
After finalizing his spot in fourth place in the Tour de Suisse, the ranking became his career-best at a World Tour stage race.The Tour de Suisse was held June 12-19 in build-up to the Tour de France, in which he raced in July, as one of six Americans to complete in 2022 and placed 13th. Tour de Suisse is notable for its rigorous climbing and high altitudes in the Swiss Alps.
Since becoming a professional cyclist in 2018, Powless has continued to improve. Last year was his most successful, winning Spain’s popular single-day race, the Clásica San Sebastián; finishing fifth at the world championships in Belgium; and improving his performance at the Tour de France.
On September 5, he revealed that he may skip the UCI Road World Champion-ships and focus on late-season races in Europe before closing out the year at the Japan Cup.
This year, many favourites withdrew from the World Championship. Last year at Worlds, Powless finished ahead of many of the favourites, with names like Tom Pidcock, Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert behind on the rankings. With a successful Tour de France behind him that almost netted the maillot jaune, he is-n’t lacking for confidence but the risks may outweigh the potential benefits.
Powless may have bigger objectives coming next year, with the Tour de France leader’s jersey evading him by a thin four seconds after stage 6, when Tadej Pogačar claimed the race lead in Longwy. The performance has led to much speculation that he could be the USA’s next big Tour de France hopeful.