Mike on the up in “one of the world’s hardest races”

Mike Woods was impressive in the last climb of Itzulia Basque Country, finishing 12th, (13th on GC), proving that he is getting closer to his top form going into the Ardennes Classics.

Woods was sitting in the bus after the final stage, describing the whole race as “one of the hardest in pro racing” and nobody who spent the last week here would argue. It was just lethal, culminating in a final stage that featured seven climbs – most on narrow roads with some unmatched steep grades. With the GC battle wide open and the top-10 riders going full gas, Woods was superb and gave the team a lot of reasons to believe he is back. Teammate Hugo Houle (in another breakaway today) deserved a high mark too.

Woods: “If you told me at the start of the week that I’d finished 13th overall at this race, coming here after all the health issues that I had, I would have actually been really pleased. Especially with my final sensations on the last day.

“I think this is a really good sign for the month to come, for my future races. Hopefully bigger and better things to come!”