Michael Woods © Cannondale-Drapac
September 29, 2016 (Torino, Italy) – According to rising Canadian star Mike Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) his second place on the podium on Sunday at Milan-Torino in Italy was a career-best finish. “I won a UCI 1.2 in Portugal last year, however this race was far bigger and has a ton of history. I would say it is likely my best result to date. Landing on the podium twice in Tour Down Under was pretty close to this level of performance, but to come 2nd in my first outing at a race with such a rich history is special.” – see team release below.
Mike Woods animated the finale of Milano-Torino, launching an attack with four kilometers still to race. The Canadian made his move on the final climb to the Basilica at Superga. The initial acceleration saw Woods gain a gap on 10 chasers. Then Miguel Lopez (Astana) bridged across.
Michael Woods (l) and Miguel Angel Lopez in the 97th Milan-Torino race © Cannondale-Drapac
“This was my first real two-man duel in a climb of this duration,” said Woods. “It was pretty thrilling to be apart of, and it hurt a ton. I attacked because I had good legs, and I knew it would force other teams to chase and give Rigo[berto Uran] a smooth ride.”
“When Lopez bridged to me we attacked each other several times,” Woods noted. “In retrospect I should have waited far longer to do my final attack; however, I lost a bit of focus and thought we were closer to the finish than we actually were. After making my final attack, we rounded a corner, and I realized we had a lot further to go. This is when I knew I was in trouble.”
Rigoberto Uran © Cannondale-Drapac
Lopez sensed that Woods was under pressure and seized the chance to throw down a final missive. Woods, unable to respond, finished second to Lopez, nine seconds behind the race winner. Uran jumped out of the chase group to round out the podium.
Milano-Torino 2016 podium (l-r) Woods 2nd, Lopez 1st, Uran 3rd © Cor Vos
“The team’s plan today was to ride for Rigo,” said Woods. “He has been on great form, and the goal was to try to set him up for the win. I started as a protected rider with the responsibility of following any late attacks that could make it the line.”
Woods (l), Lopez and Uran celebrate on the podium © Cannondale-Drapac
“The whole team was great today,” Woods added. “Toms Skujins, Matti Breschel and Kristoffer Skjerping did a great job controlling the race and riding on the front. Kristoffer gave me a great lead-out. Without their support, we wouldn’t have been two-three today.”
Full results here.