Racing hard is best tonic for stunned Cannondale-Drapac Vuelta crew

    We could not have been any prouder of the way the #GreenArgyle Vuelta a España crew rose to occasion on Sundays stage nine. In the wake of deeply discouraging news, our Vuelta nine revealed their true character and commitment to this team, this sport and their future. VeloNews wrote about the classy, tenacious ride that ultimately resulted in Mike Woods’ third place finish.

    Stunned Cannondale-Drapac riders put pedal to the metal Sunday in all bid to win, and soothe their frazzled nerves.

    With Cannondale-Drapac’s future on the ropes, the Vuelta a España squad grabbed Sunday’s Cumbre del Sol summit finale by the scruff of the neck. Michael Woods delivered with a grand-tour best third in stage 9.

    “We had bad news yesterday,” Michael Woods told VeloNews. “On the team bus today, we decided to take the bull by the horns.”

    The team’s riders and staff were dismayed over the weekend as word quietly spread, and then later officially confirmed overnight. Team boss Jonathan Vaughters said the team has to come up with a $7 million budget shortfall to shore up the budget for 2018. The alternative? The team could collapse.

    Astounded Cannondale-Drapac riders huddled inside the team bus Sunday morning. Sport director Juanma Garate laid it out for the riders.

    “Our director said we can do this one of two ways,” said Joe Dombrowski. “It can be every man for himself, or we can work as a team, and try and give everyone an opportunity. That is what you saw today. Obviously, we are all a bit on edge, but today revealed a lot about the character of this team.”

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