Vuelta a Espana: Woods still firing on all cylinders in second week

Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) continued where he left off in the overall classification battle at the Vuelta a España on Tuesday, although his mud-spattered bike, sitting outside the team bus after stage 10, was testament to what had been a hard day’s racing through ridiculously heavy rain early on and a long climb over the Collado Bermejo at the end.

Arguably the trickiest, most stressful part of the day, though, came on the long, technical descent off the Collado through dense woodland to the finish. Woods, like many other riders, told Cyclingnews that, despite taking all precautions, he came within a whisker of crashing at one point, but overall he came through well.

“Descending was really good, I put a little less pressure in the tyres today,” Woods said. The Canadian continues to sit eighth overall at 1:55 from Froome.


“I messed up the first part of the descent because I was a little too far back, I thought we had two extra kilometres left to go [to the summit] but in any case, I was feeling so good I was able to get by guys just before crucial points on the descent.

“I almost went off the road at one point, and kind of did. But otherwise, I managed to make that front group and was hoping we’d be able to stick away when it split but guys kind of eased up afterwards.”

The race amongst the GC contenders had stayed fairly stable on the climb itself until Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) opened up hostilities just before the summit and then launched himself onto the downhill with a vengeance.

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