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Michael Woods’ 2019: four stage races, four top-10s

Primož Roglič has now won three of the eight WorldTour stage races so far this year

Michael Woods

Despite coming 55th in Sunday’s time trial conclusion of the Tour de Romandie, Michael Woods stayed in the GC top-10, dropping three spots from seventh to tenth. This means that Woods has finished in the top-10 of all four stage races he has contested this year: the Tour Down Under, the Herald Sun Tour, the Volta a Catalunya and Romandie. Primož Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) won his third stage of the 73rd edition and his third 2019 WorldTour stage race in a row, adding Romandie to UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico titles. Last season he also earned three straight stage race victories: Itzulia Basque Country, Tour de Romandie and Tour of Slovenia before just missing out on the Tour de France podium.

The Course

There were a few ripples in the profile of the 16.85-km route around Geneva.

Early Times

Maciej Bodnar (Poland/Bora-Hansgrohe) was an early leader with a time of 20:44 before world hour record holder Victor Campenaerts seized control with 20:11. Ineos’s Italian Filippo Ganna tucked himself into second with 20:13.

Before Campenaerts settled into the hot seat, he warmed down.

The Top 10

Giro d’Italia-bound Ilnur Zakarin (Russia/Katusha) was hoping to break into the top-10 on GC, perhaps at the expense of 10th place teammate Simon Spilak, both of them on the same time overall. He posted 20:58, eight seconds faster than Spilak, but both would finish in the top-10, as Carlos Betancur (Colombia/Movistar) disappointed after a good week. Both Katusha riders would climb over Woods in the GC.

Woods had to worry about Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) snatching his seventh spot on GC, the German only a second adrift. Buchmann was +0:43 of Campenaerts, while Woods was +1:26.

Roglič was interested in not only staving off second place Rui Costa, but also winning his third stage of the race. He posted the best intermediate time.

With Geraint Thomas posting a time of 20:44 and David Gaudu clocking 20:59, the reigning Tour de France champion pinched the final podium spot from the impressive young Frenchman. In fact, Felix “Triple S” Grossschartner (Austria/Bora-Hansgrohe) would send Gaudu down to fifth and finish a single second behind Thomas in the GC.

Roglič won the stage with 19:58. He’s clearly one of the favourites to win the Giro. As Canadian Cycling Magazine reported last week, Woods isn’t racing the Giro, perhaps keeping his powder dry for the Tour de France.

2019 Tour de Romandie Stage 5
1) Primož Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) 19:58
2) Victor Campenaerts (Belgium/Lotto-Soudal) +0:13
3) Filippo Ganna (Italy/Ineos) +0:15
51) Michael Woods (Canada/EF Education First) +1:40

2019 Tour de Romandie Final GC
1) Primož Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) 15:25:11
2) Rui Costa (Portugal/UAE-Emirates) +0:49
3) Geraint Thomas (Great Britain/Ineos) +1:12
4) Felix Grossschartner (Austria/Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:13
5) David Gaudu (France/AG2R) +1:17
6) Steven Kruijswijk (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma) +1:33
7) Emanuel Buchmann (Germany/Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:35
8) Ilnur Zakarin (Russia/Katusha) +2:00
9) Simon Spilak (Slovenia/Katusha) +2:08
10) Michael Woods (Canada/EF Education First) +2:18