With 200 meters to go, Canadian Michael Woods got off his Selle Italia saddle and pushed harder on his pedals than he had yet in the stage. In a supreme effort he showed his competitors his back, resulting in an impressive second place.
That’s a short summary of the stage 4 final in the Volta a Catalunya. Woods won the sprint of the chasing group, and finished seven seconds behind the race winner.
After the stage the satisfied Woods said he bet on INEOS closing the gap with the stage winner. “However, Esteban Chaves proved to be too strong today.”
He also said he was happy with silver today. “I felt way stronger than yesterday. Obviously, I would have rather sprinted for the victory, but I had good legs today.”
The PowerWatts-trained lightweight positioned himself superbly on the 18-kilometer final climb, after his ISN-teammates supported him all the way through the stage.
“I did not have to unnecessarily spend any energy today and was brought to the foot of the final climb in perfect position. That was great.”
Explosive as he is, especially after long and fast stages with lots of elevation, he beat other world-class climbers in a short punch to the line.
Not enough chasing
Oscar Guerrero, the team’s sport director, believed in a victory for Woods the whole day: “He was super strong, and with a better race script he could have won.”
Also, Guerrero expected that the leader in the race would be caught before the finish. “They did not chase as hard as we hoped for. That changed the outcome today.”
The DS was still very content with what Woods showed on the final climb. “He did great. He is certainly not done here yet.”
Canadian climber Michael Woods hunts for a top-10 position in the general classification after an impressive burst of energy on the final climb in the fourth stage of the Volta a Catalunya.
It is not likely that tomorrow’s stage will make it possible to enter the top-10 of the GC. However, it is mountainous enough to make a difference and to sprint with a small group for the stage victory.