Michael Woods: In the Fleche

“Woodsy,” said my coach Ron Warhurst looking at me straight in the eyes, “Excuses are like assholes, everybody’s got one.” Ron was my running coach at the University of Michigan. Ron may not have been the most scientific coach, but what he lacked in fundamental knowledge concerning exercise physiology he certainly made up for in life lessons. I mean anybody who walked point in the Vietnam war for months on end and survived, anybody who has been shot and earned two purple hearts, anybody who has struggled with and overcame alcoholism, and led and tutored men at an institution for 35 years is going to have an interesting perspective on life. Ron did all of these things, and so his little sayings to this day have had a profound impact on me as a person.

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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.