Michael Woods powers to stage 3 victory at Tirreno-Adriatico

Powering up a climb so steep, fan gave riders a helping hand, Michael Woods won stage 3 of the Tirreno-Adriatico and took the overall race lead

Woods, who will race alongside four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome next season on the Israel Start-Up Nation team, was unbeatable on the final ascent up the Muro di Poggio Murella climb that preceded the uphill finish at Saturnia.

Woods left behind rivals including 2018 Tour champion Geraint Thomas on the 20% gradient and summited alone. Rafal Majka managed to catch Woods on the twisty downhill on the other side. But on the rolling uphill that then followed to the finish, Woods outsprinted Majka to the line.

Michael Woods powers to stage 3 victory at Tirreno-Adriatico

”The last climb, it was real hard,” said Thomas, who was 10th, 20 seconds behind Woods. ”Woodsy sort of kicked with 500 (meters/yards) to go and I was close to the limit there, I didn’t want to go all the way into the red.”

Majka is now five seconds behind Woods. Wilco Kelderman is third overall, 26 seconds behind Woods.

Woods said afterwards, “I looked at the stage before coming here and recognised that this would be a good one for me, particularly with the course being so difficult and so challenging,” Woods said in a post-race interview. “The guys on my team rode amazing, did some great work for me, and I had no choice but to step up my game.

“It will be another challenging day followed by another challenging day (stage 4 &5), so the GC certainly is not over and it will be a long week, but we have a strong team here."

Woods will compete in the 2020 UCI Road World Championships set to take place in Imola from September 24-27. "I love Italy," he said. "It’s one of my favourite places in the world to race. The courses always suit me and they are super hard, super challenging, and I like that. Hopefully, I can continue that going into Imola.”

2020 Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 3 Highlights

2020 Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 3 Top 10

1 Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling 5:19:46
2 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:01
3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:20
4 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
5 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana Pro Team
6 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) UAE Team Emirates
7 Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling
8 Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep
9 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
10 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers

2020 Tirreno-Adriatico GC after Stage 3 Top 10

1 Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling 13:19:24
2 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:05
3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:26
4 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:30
5 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) UAE Team Emirates
7 Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep
8 Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling
9 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
10 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana Pro Team

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