Israel Start-Up Nation’s team leader Michael Woods put on an impressive performance to claim victory on stage 4 of Tour de Romandie. Woods is also the new race leader!
With five categorized climbs, over 4,000 meters of climbing and a 20 km long final ascent with an average gradient of 7.7 %, today’s stage was always going to be extremely important for the general classification.
Early on, a breakaway of seven riders managed to distance the peloton. Mads Würtz Schmidt was quick to follow the moves and join the group. The break quickly opened up a gap of over five minutes, but the teams of the GC riders were not going to let the stage win slip away.
On the final climb of the day, the last rider from the breakaway got caught and then it was up to the favorites to fight for victory. Woods did well to stay in contention, always following the right moves before trying to go solo.
At the end, only Woods and Geraint Thomas (INEOS) remained at the front. In the final sprint, Thomas crashed leaving Woods to cross the line first and take the stage win and the yellow jersey.
Michael Woods: “I was really happy with the race today, really proud with how the team rode and how my legs felt. The guys just did such a great job in delivering me and Mads got into the breakaway and was able to help position me for the final climb. I had really good legs and, ya, just felt awesome. Didn’t want to take the yellow the way I took it, I didn’t want to see Geraint Thomas go down the way he did, but it’s special to be in a yellow jersey at a WorldTour race. I’m really proud of myself and hopefully I can land a podium tomorrow.”