"We must admit that beating Tadej Pogacar is almost impossible" - Neilson Powless and EF looks for different ways to ensure successful Tour de France

Whilst the upcoming general classification fight at the 2024 Tour de France looks like being one of the most exciting and hotly anticipated in a long while, for some teams the level of the true Maillot Jaune contenders is just too much to compete with.

Neilson Powless was once viewed as a future Grand Tour hope of American cycling. After his spell in the polka-dot jersey last year however, the EF Education - EasyPost man will once again target the King of the Mountains and breakaway stage wins at the 2024 edition, due in part to the immense quality of the general classification contenders.

"Like every other team, we must of course admit that beating Tadej Pogacar is almost impossible," admits EF Education - EasyPost team boss Andreas Klier in conversation with In de Leiderstrui. As such, the team must attempt to claim success through differing routes. "It's not realistic. So what's left? Indeed, perhaps a stage win, or whatever remains to be done."

"Setting goals for the Tour de France is still a bit too early. First of all, participation is not yet a given and I also want to first see how I perform in the Dauphiné and how I feel about it. But I am someone who always starts with strong ambitions. Wherever I start, I always want to compete for victory," said Powless recently. Notably the 27-year-old was a DNF on stage 7 at the Dauphine.

"I find it difficult to estimate, but I suspect that Neilson's form will continue to grow towards the Tour. At least that's what I assume," Klier assesses. "Neilson is growing very quickly in terms of form in the two to four weeks after a first match. So I'm certainly not worried about that. Actually, I'm not worried about anything, haha! At the time of speaking, everything is fine."

"When you go to the biggest cycling races in the world, there is always a certain form of pressure," Klier concludes. "In my opinion it is also healthy to put some pressure on yourself, although not too much of course. When the outside world starts to put pressure on you, it becomes a different story. I think we have enough knowledge within the team to determine how much pressure we put on the boys. As long as it's a healthy dose, then it's fine. That also worked out well last year, with Neilson, for example, owning the polka dot jersey for a while."

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