Mike Woods once again proved the Mur de Huy is his kind of climb with a strong sixth place at La Flèche Wallonne, capitalising on stellar teamwork all day.
After coming back from illness and riding into form at Itzulia Basque Country, Woods, who finished on the podium in 2020 and fourth last year, showed he is heading in the right direction with good legs on the brutally sleep slopes of the Mur.
“I’m pleased with my form. I’m not ecstatic with the result but I’m not disappointed either, particularly coming from where I’ve come from. I wanted better but it was a good result and I think it was a good start to the Classics campaign, especially the way the team rode. It gives me a lot of confidence going into Liège. My legs are really good, I just need to execute it better,” said Woods.
Jakob Fuglsang looked strong all day and, alongside Hugo Houle, played a crucial role in bringing Woods into position on the Mur. After today’s race, the 2019 Liège-Bastogne -Liège winner is looking forward to testing his form again on Sunday.
“I felt good again and it’s going the right way so that’s the best thing. First of all, as a team I think we rode really well, we stuck to our plan, and we were there when we needed to be. Mike was a bit unlucky in the final but it was a good day and I’m also really happy with myself. It gives good motivation for Liège,” added Fuglsang.
While the race came down to the final ascent of the Mur de Huy as always, Daryl Impey spent the majority of the day at the front of the race in the breakaway, to cover all bases for IPT.
“It wasn’t really the plan to be in the breakaway but we said if a big break went then we would rather have someone there, especially if a big group came across on the finishing circuit. They didn’t catch us until the end so it would have been nice for me if a big group came across and I could have helped Woodsy but by the time they caught us with 15 kilometers to go, I was quite spent. But, it was cool to be up there.”