Michael Woods Discussion Thread

Jul 29, 2016
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I am suprised, that there is no thread on him. So lets start.

He did great even his place is the story to be noticed. He became WT Pro with Cannondale at 2016, when he was 29. This year, his stillbon son died. Two month later he won stage at Vuelta and now is third at Worlds. Incredible story. I see Hollywood will one day make movie based on this story ... .

Hat off Michael Woods!
 
He gave himself every chance today and looked super strong on that last climb. I'm glad he got on the podium as he didn't have the level of support of most of the other high placed riders.
 
He's a very easy guy to root for, that's for sure.

His stage win in the Vuelta was memorable in so many ways.

He's never going to win lots of races because he can't descend, can't sprint, and can't maintain a gap once he gets it. But, given a super steep finish, preferably requiring 3-10 minutes of effort, he's clearly one of the best in the world.

I don't know why he finished so far back in Fleche this year but he's done well in in previously (11th and 12th) that could be his race next year.
 
The Barb said:
I don't know why he finished so far back in Fleche this year but he's done well in in previously (11th and 12th) that could be his race next year.
It has puzzled me for some time why Woods tends to do better in LBL than in FW. I would think FW is the race that should suit him the most of all in the calendar. But maybe it's because it's not hard enough before the last climb?
 
The Barb said:
He's a very easy guy to root for, that's for sure.

His stage win in the Vuelta was memorable in so many ways.

He's never going to win lots of races because he can't descend, can't sprint, and can't maintain a gap once he gets it. But, given a super steep finish, preferably requiring 3-10 minutes of effort, he's clearly one of the best in the world.

I don't know why he finished so far back in Fleche this year but he's done well in in previously (11th and 12th) that could be his race next year.
His bike handling and positioning is starting to come along. Woods did fairly well to stay with Bardet and Valverde on the final descent, both are much better descenders than him. His sprint certainly needs some work though.
 
The Barb said:
He's a very easy guy to root for, that's for sure.

His stage win in the Vuelta was memorable in so many ways.

He's never going to win lots of races because he can't descend, can't sprint, and can't maintain a gap once he gets it. But, given a super steep finish, preferably requiring 3-10 minutes of effort, he's clearly one of the best in the world.

I don't know why he finished so far back in Fleche this year but he's done well in in previously (11th and 12th) that could be his race next year.

His descending skills have improved quite a bit since he gifted a rider a stage win in the 2017 Tour of Switzerland.
It was heartbreaking to see him concede so much time on the final decent of a mountain stage he should have handily won.
The guy dropped everyone on the ascent and rode down the hill like the relative newbie he was.
That must have been embarrassing; but good for him to improve his skills. Just goes to show it takes more than brute strength to win a bike race.
Chapeau to Michael Woods. It's impressive to see someone rocket to the top ranks in such a short period of time and at such a late age.
 
Anderis said:
The Barb said:
I don't know why he finished so far back in Fleche this year but he's done well in in previously (11th and 12th) that could be his race next year.
It has puzzled me for some time why Woods tends to do better in LBL than in FW. I would think FW is the race that should suit him the most of all in the calendar. But maybe it's because it's not hard enough before the last climb?
Positioning. When Dan Martin rode for Garmindale, he always had to come from way down the field at FW too.

So yes, also not hard enough before the climb, because if the first 197km of FW was raced hard enough that only 10-15 were left at the foot of the Mur, then he wouldn't have as many backmarkers to thread his way through before the real climbing started.


No, I don't know how he managed to be better positioned than Dumoulin today. Maybe he should fight his own corner at FW next year and just follow the Quickstep/Movistar wheels instead of hoping his teammates can do it.
 
I had also wondered at his better performances at LBL than FW. As Leinster points out, it is probably a combination of poor positioning (perhaps attributable to his inexperience) and LBL being the harder race. Today's result seems to confirm the latter point: Woods has excellent endurance and seems to benefit from a longer, harder race.

I am very happy for him; he seems a likable rider. I must also confess I was wrong about his chances in this race, as I thought that his poor descending would doom his chances at a podium. He did seem to have the descent of his life today, although that was made somewhat easier by the fact that the other two were not pressing hard on the descent. I didn't expect him to be able to descend that well. Though he has been better recently than he was in that disastrous stage in Switzerland last year, he still crashed on a descent in the Vuelta and generally looked shaky when going downhill in that race.
 
I think he's said that he's been spending a lot of time mountain biking to work on his descending. And given he's come to cycling so late, it would make sense that he would have a steep learning curve on the technical aspects of the sport.

I expected him to struggle to hold onto Bala and Bardet on the downside, but I suspect Bardet was half-hoping Pinot and/or Alaf would come back up, and Bala knew he had the sprint locked up if he didn't burn too many matches.
 
Leinster said:
Positioning. When Dan Martin rode for Garmindale, he always had to come from way down the field at FW too.
If you re-watch 2017, you'll see that positioning was not a problem for Woods. Cannondale delivered their leaders very well in that race. He was within top10 all the time between the bottom of the climb and 200 meters to go, from where he couldn't follow the others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hkq6uwXOH8

You can see at 0:36 Cannondale had 3 riders on positions 8, 9 and 10 (they had been delivered by 3 other team-mates few kilometers earlier IIRC, Cannondale had had more riders than any other team at that point and had been setting the pace for a while). At 1:04 Woods is already around 5th position and between 1:30 and 2:20 (FDJ rider attack) he is on the front row all the time.
 
Anderis said:
The Barb said:
I don't know why he finished so far back in Fleche this year but he's done well in in previously (11th and 12th) that could be his race next year.
It has puzzled me for some time why Woods tends to do better in LBL than in FW. I would think FW is the race that should suit him the most of all in the calendar. But maybe it's because it's not hard enough before the last climb?
Maybe the climb in itself isn't hard enough for him. Woods is proberly more like Horner than Purito.
 
Re:

hrotha said:
I like him but I'm glad he didn't win. He doesn't have the status for it, in my opinion.
I get where you’re coming from, but I respectfully disagree. He’s come to the sport very late in life, but proven that he can absolutely hang with the best. He doesn’t have an extensive palmares, and at this stage he may never add much more to it, but he’s packed a fair bit into his 3 years at WT level.
 
Jun 27, 2013
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Re:

hrotha said:
I like him but I'm glad he didn't win. He doesn't have the status for it, in my opinion.
If a star loses he'll quickly stop being a star. If a nobody keeps winning he'll become a star.
It's essentially a self-fufilling prophecy. If he's strong enough to be so close to winning, especially on a route this difficult, he'll have the status very soon.

It's not like this was a Brochard case, a good not great rider winning because a crash held back the favorites.
 

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