Michael Woods: Calming the emotional roller coaster at Redlands Bicycle Classic

"Dude, calm down," said my team director, Jonas Carney, as I hobbled into the pit of the Redlands Bicycle Classic Criterium. I was angry. Only minutes earlier I had consumed a Clif caffeinated gel, and its effects were kicking in right when I had originally hoped. This shot of caffeine, combined with the onset of adrenaline from racing an NRC level crit was supposed to propel me to a strong finish. However, the concoction of caffeine and adrenaline, when mixed with the nausea brought on from slamming into a steel barrier at 30km/h, instead resulted in all my rational thoughts crawling into the most remote spaces of my brain.

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Canada's Michael Woods is a former middle-distance runner turned road cyclist and he races for the US WorldTour outfit Cannondale Pro Cycling. He proved his climbing ability on the world-class stage in February 2015 when he rode into a fifth place during the queen stage 4 of the Volta ao Algarve in Malhão behind stage winner Richie Porte, world champion Michal Kwiatkowski, Jon Izzagire and Geraint Thomas. You can follow his blogs on Cyclingnews during the 2016 season, his first year on the WorldTour, on his website: rustywoodscycling.com, and on Twitter: @rusty_woods.