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Woods disappointed to miss podium at Tour de Romandie

FRIBOURG SWITZERLAND MAY 02 Michael Woods of Canada and Team Israel StartUp Team Yellow Leader Jersey during the 74th Tour De Romandie 2021 Stage 5 a 1619km Individual Time Trial stage from Fribourg to Fribourg 614m ITT TDR2021 TDRnonstop UCIworldtour on May 02 2021 in Fribourg Switzerland Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Woods lost the overall lead during the final time trial at Tour de Romandie (Image credit: Getty Images)

Michael Woods (Israel Start-up Nation) anticipated losing the leader's jersey during the final stage 5 time trial but was hoping to put forth a strong enough performance to remain on the podium at the Tour de Romandie

The Canadian ended up finishing 28th on the stage and moved down to fifth overall in what he called a "disappointing" conclusion.

"I wanted to go for the podium and so fifth place [overall] is a bit of a disappointment," Woods said in a post-race interview with CyclingPro

"I didn’t have the legs on the flat section and emptied the tank a bit too early on. I need to do more homework on the time trial bike."

Time trialling aside, Woods had a successful week at the Tour de Romandie, capped off with a queen stage 4 victory at the Thyon 2000 ski resort, despite Geraint Thomas' (Ineos Grenadiers) bizarre crash in the two-up sprint to the finish line. 

That victory bumped Woods up into the overall race lead ahead of the final time trial, and he said that victory alone was somewhat unexpected but a pleasant surprise.

"I'm really happy with the week," Woods said. "If you told me I would be [fifth] overall at the start of the week, with a stage win, I would have been more than pleased."

Woods went into the time trial with an 11-second lead over Thomas in the overall classification, but he stated ahead of the event that time trialling was not his specialty and that there were heavy-hitting contenders much better suited to the 16.9km test in Fribourg.

Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-QuickStep) proved fastest on the day, covering the course in 21:54, while Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) finished second at six seconds back and Thomas finished third at 17 seconds back. Woods finished 28th at 1:11 back.

"It was a difficult and challenging time trial and I don’t think I paced it well but it was never going to be my strong suit. I did as best I could," Woods said.

Third place was enough to push Thomas into the overall victory at the Tour de Romandie, with his Ineos Grenadiers teammate Richie Porte finishing second at 28 seconds back, Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck-QuickStep) in third at 38 seconds, Marc Soler (Movistar) fourth at 39 seconds and then Woods in fifth at 43 seconds.

Despite his disappointment at not finishing on the overall podium, Woods said that spending the final stage in yellow was memorable.

"It was really special wearing the yellow jersey, even with the yellow shoe covers on, which was nice. I tried to cherish and enjoy the moment. I knew that I probably wouldn’t be holding on to it at the end of the day but it was great to be in yellow," Woods said. 

Woods swill turn his attention toward his next two targets at the Tour de France and the Olympic Games.

Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.