CALTAGIRONE, Italy (VN) — They called it the Liège-Bastogne-Liège of Sicily. And just like in La Doyenne last month, Michael Woods came within a few pedal strokes of victory.
EF Education First-Drapac’s Canadian crusher notched his best-ever grand tour result Tuesday in stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia with second place at the end of the steep Caltagirone finale. Only world-class puncheur Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) could deny him the victory.
“Wellens just had better legs. I was trying to time it, and I tried coming around and I just couldn’t do it,” Woods said. “It was all a question of power. That was it. I was full-gas.”
Woods’s meteoric rise continues on its upward trajectory. Last year, he rode two grand tours, taking fifth place in a stage at the 2017 Giro before climbing to seventh overall as well as notching a third-place stage result at the Vuelta a España to confirm his GC chops.
Already at this Giro, he’s already topped his best grand tour stage result. The ultimate goal is to secure his first WorldTour career win, and ideally, it comes over the next three weeks.
For this Giro, Woods says the priority is a stage victory while taking the GC taking as it comes. With time bonuses at the line, Woods slots in 18th at 53 seconds back, two spots ahead of Chris Froome (Sky).