Canada's Michael Woods posts Stage 5 victory of virtual Tour de France
Ottawa native boosts confidence after breaking leg in March crash
Canada's Michael Woods won Stage 5 of the men's virtual Tour de France on Saturday after turning in a strong performance on Mont Ventoux to finish ahead of NTT Pro Cycling duo Domenico Pozzovivo and Louis Meintjes.
The virtual race is being held on the popular Zwift training platform after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the actual annual July race until the end of August.
EF Pro Cycling's Woods, who broke his leg in a crash during Paris-Nice in March, dominated from the start and won the 22-kilometre simulation in 46 minutes three seconds, 18 seconds ahead of Pozzovivo.
"This is a big event for us. Zwift is a great platform. We wanted to get a win and we finally got one," said Woods, an Ottawa native.
🇬🇧 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TDFvirtual?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TDFvirtual</a> - Stage 5 Highlights 🎥<br><br>🇿🇦 <a href="https://twitter.com/ashleighcycling?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ashleighcycling</a> and 🇨🇦 <a href="https://twitter.com/rusty_woods?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@rusty_woods</a> are crowned queen and king of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TDFvirtual?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TDFvirtual</a>! 👑<br><br>🏆 The two riders claimed a powerful solo win on the way to Chalet Reynard.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoZwift?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoZwift</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TDFunited?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TDFunited</a> <a href="https://t.co/SLJFLvW4WJ">pic.twitter.com/SLJFLvW4WJ</a>—@LeTour
"Both Pozzovivo and Meintjes are super strong riders. Normally in a race you can look them in the eye and see how they're doing... I just kept hoping they'd crack a lot earlier than they did. Fortunately, I was able to keep it going."
Woods turned up the intensity over the final seven kilometres, dropping Meintjes with four to go and speeding away from Pozzovivo 3-1/2 km from the finish.
"I think switch racing is a lot more sustained effort," Woods added. "I think that's why I have so much success at it. It's a lot more similar to running."
NTT are still in the overall lead ahead of Sunday's final stage on the Champs-Elysees.