Mike Woods’ work at Liège-Bastogne-Liège didn’t end with his sprint to second in Ans. Following his brilliant ride, there were podium duties and media obligations, the official press conference and fans to greet. Several stories came out of the post-race aftermath. This gem from CyclingNews is one of them.
Michael Woods (EF Education First-Drapac) clinched a breakthrough result in Liège-Bastogne-Liège by taking his first ever podium in a Monument Classic, a performance which bodes well for the future.
After turning professional at 29, the Canadian has faced a steep learning curve to catch up with his rivals. But at the finale in Ans, Woods proved that he was more than capable of taking on some of the top Classics racers of his generation as he etched out a remarkable second place at La Doyenne.
Already very active in the closing kilometres, Woods darted onto Romain Bardet’s wheel as soon as the Frenchman moved away after the Côte de Saint-Nicolas. The two caught and passed Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Soudal) when they reached the crest of the Ans climb, having combined well on the run-in.
“We worked well together,” Woods later told Cyclingnews. “We talked a bit, Bardet was like ‘allez, allez’, and that was inspiring because he’s a guy who’s podiumed on the Tour. He’s a courageous rider. He definitely got me going and made me believe we’d stay away.
“We went pull for pull until about 500 metres to go, then Bardet pulled through super hard and tried to drop me, but I knew then that if it came down to the sprint, I’d have a shot. So I took his wheel and sprinted for the line.”