Recovering Woods finds motivation in postponed Tokyo Olympics

Michael Woods (EF Education First) in the bunch during stage 2 at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine
Michael Woods (EF Education First) in the bunch during stage 2 at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling) is back on his turbo trainer as he begins his recovery from the broken femur he sustained in a crash at Paris-Nice last month. The Canadian is aiming to be competitive in time for the World Championships road race in Switzerland in September and he also has an eye on the Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"At the moment I’m finding motivation in the fact that the Olympics have been postponed to 2021," Woods told his team website

"The World Championships also look like they’re going to happen in September, and those were the two biggest goals for me this season, and now I think I can certainly be back 100 percent for both of them."

Paris-Nice was the last WorldTour event to take place before all racing was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The calendar is currently clear until at least June 1, but the Tour de Suisse (June 6-14) has already been cancelled, while it remains unclear as to whether the Tour de France, scheduled to start on June 27, will take place as planned.

On Thursday, the UCI reiterated its desire for the 2020 World Championships to go ahead in Aigle and Martigny from September 20-27.

Although Woods intends to be back in action by September – assuming the cycling season has resumed by then – he stressed that he had no intention of rushing his recovery, pointing out that his athletics career had ended prematurely due to a stress fracture.

"I’m lucky in a way by having the experience of ruining one athletic career by not doing it right in the recovery process, and it’s taught me some valuable lessons," Woods said. "I’ve set a date for when I want to be back by but it’s not set in stone, so if anything pops up I’m not going to rush it, I’m just going to take it as it comes."

For the time being, Woods is in the early phase of his rehabilitation, and his work on the bike is limited to some low intensity outings on his home trainer.

"When I was able to get on the bike it was just so nice, I was buzzing afterwards, even though it was just 15 minutes at a 50 watt average, it was just lovely to move the leg and be a bit more active," he said. "Now there’s an opportunity for people to drop me for a change. I’m getting passed by everyone on Zwift right now."

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