World Championships: Elite men's road race highlights - video

Romain Bardet, Alejandro Valverde and Michael Woods on the podium

Romain Bardet, Alejandro Valverde and Michael Woods on the podium (Image credit: Getty Images)

The Innsbruck course for the 2018 UCI Road World Championships was touted as the most challenging course in recent history, and so it prove to be. On the 2.9km Höll climb inside 10km to go, three riders separated themselves from the rest on the double-digit gradients, with Michael Woods (Canada) leading the charge with Romain Bardet (France) and Alejandro Valverde (Spain) the only ones able to hold his wheel.

In the end, Valverde proved too strong in the sprint after 258km and eight other testing climbs. Although he was pinned to the front and forced to lead out the sprint, Bardet, Woods, and Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) who had chased up to them, could not come around.

As Valverde celebrated his first rainbow jersey after six previous podium visits, Bardet was left with an unsatisfying silver, while Woods proved his climbing prowess with bronze.

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