Israel Start-Up Nation put on an impressive team effort on stage 9 of the Tour de France, setting up Michael Woods to join the breakaway and go for KOM points. He’s now second in the competition for the polka dot jersey.
Despite digging deep on yesterday’s first day in the mountains, Woods was eager to get up the road once again, aiming to score points in the KOM competition. The ISN riders made sure that no dangerous groups went away on the opening kilometers before hitting the first climb of the day. At that point, Woods went to the front to follow the strong attacks, which ultimately saw him make it into a strong six-rider front group.
Woods scored KOM points on the first four categorized climbs, before giving in to the wet and cold conditions in the high mountains. Overall, the Canadian is now in second place, just eight points down on the leader in the king of mountains competition: Nairo Quintana (Arkea – Samsic). Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) still leads the race ahead of tomorrow’s rest day.
Michael Woods: “We took the front from the start and rode all the way towards the first climb. The guys were really awesome today. At the end, going head-to-head with Quintana took its toll. The accumulated fatigue from yesterday’s big effort and the cold weather today really started to impact me. I tried to play it the best way I could but following Quintana killed me and I blew up. The weather really affected me, and I could barely hold the handlebars on the descent. I was descending like a feather.
“However, we are still very much in the game [for the KOM]. It would have been nice to go for the stage win today but that wasn’t in the cards. Still, the fact that I was able to attack and be in the break after riding so hard yesterday gives me a lot of confidence. Now, I have two days to recover and then I’ll be good for the next stage.”