April 28, 2016 – Canadian Michael Woods suffered a broken hand in three places in a fall with about 20 kilometers to go in Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The crash put a halt to his maiden campaign at the Ardennes, which had been off to a sterling start with his 12th place at La Flèche-Wallonne, and will keep him out of the Giro d’Italia. “This is definitely not a lost season. This will definitely make me come back stronger,” said Woods.
Further review on Woods’ back injuries are pending, but the hand injury is enough to keep him off the bike for now. Woods now finds himself on the outside of a Giro team that’s poised for a solid run at the maglia rosa. The fact that he’ll miss that hurts.
“Rigo’s got a really good shot at winning and I would have liked to be a part of that,” he said. “But there’s still quite a few opportunities left in this season. Rio is a big goal of mine this season. I’m still looking forward. This is definitely not a lost season. This will definitely make me come back stronger.”
And though he crashed out of Liège, the foundation for what could come in the Ardennes races for Woods has been laid. “I think they’re tailor-made for my abilities. As unfortunate as it is crashing and getting hurt, I don’t think the crash reflects on me as a bike handler. I think the courses really suit me, and I’m really excited about that,” he said. “The undulation, the technical side of it. It’s just fun. And the crowds are unreal.”
His timeline for return isn’t yet known.
“Once they have a clearer picture as to what’s going on with the back I can set a clear timeline for getting back on the bike,” he said. “The sad part about cycling is it’s often more than one injury. If I was just dealing with a broken hand, it would be fine. It’s the back, too. Getting into bed is a five-minute ordeal.”
“My wife’s been helping me get dressed,” Woods said. “I feel like a four year old again.”