Woods seals vuelta a espana top 10


Jan 3, 2005
Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) went into the Vuelta a Espana trying to put any ideas of the general classification to the back of his mind. On Sunday he rode into Madrid with his first ever top 10 Grand Tour finish in just the second three-week race of his career.

Woods and his sports director, Juan Manuel Garate, made an important point of not thinking about the general classification until it became apparent on stage 10 that he was able to mix it with the big guns at the pointy end of proceedings. After a bruising Vuelta, Woods finished the race in seventh overall, 8:27 behind the eventual winner Chris Froome (Team Sky).

“It feels amazing. I’m really happy to be across the line. The last eight laps hurt a lot. The legs were feeling terrible and I definitely felt like I’d done a Grand Tour,” Woods told Cyclingnews after completing the final stage in Madrid.

“It’s really special. I know when we talked before it started, I was playing down any chances and any aspirations of doing the GC. Juan Manuel Garate my director was really big on taking that pressure off of me and just focusing on stage wins. We didn’t get a stage win but I feel like the seventh place is as good as a stage win. I feel like the accomplishment is as good, and I’m just super satisfied.”

Making it into the final top 10 was no easy feat with two of the toughest climbs in any Vuelta featured in the final week. After slipping down the standings in the time trial, a strong ride on Los Machucos sent him back up again. A solid ride on the Angliru on the penultimate stage was enough to seal the deal for the Canadian. Froome said in his post-race press conference that it was the hardest Grand Tour he’d ridden and Woods would attest to that.

Another talk with Garate helped Woods to enjoy the experience, and saw him finish the Vuelta with a bang. “It was pretty relentless, every day was a test. It felt like the stages didn’t really say that it would be this crazy hard course but it ended up playing out that way where every day was a test,” said Woods.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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