ISN’s hopes in stage 3 of Itzulia Basque Country took a sudden hit
Mike Woods crashed on the foot of the climb to the finish
You could almost touch it, feel it, sense it coming up – the reward for perfect execution by a team determined to win with its best rider in the front; a rider who was ready to kick ass in the last climb which was perfectly suited to him.
Crash. And it all came to a halt. The pictures started appearing on the car’s TV screen of Mike Woods standing there, holding his shoulder. Another rider trying to position himself better in the turn leading to the climb lost control and caused Mike to fall. Our Canadian just couldn’t do anything.
All that was left was that empty feeling and the realization that the guys did everything right, just to be robbed of the chance to win by nothing of their own doing. “A shame,” said Alex Cataford, clearly more pained for his teammate and countryman than himself. “We worked just perfectly. But what can you do? It’s part of cycling, and you need to accept that, regroup and look for tomorrow.”
Mike was taken to x-ray and it seems that he avoided a significant injury.
Sports Director Rene Andrle: “It pains you more because the guys were riding by the book. Piccoli helped chase down a breakaway, the other guys protected Mike, and then in the last climb, Neilands and the fantastic Paddy Bevin led the way. Paddy was in the front, positioning Mike in the front right where we wanted him. We lost our GC hopes, but we will re-plan and go for stage wins.”