CyclingNews spoke with Mike Woods in the run-up to the Vuelta a España where the Canadian hopes to improve on his stage results in the Giro, including a pair of fifth places. This Q&A was a good read before the race got underway, and it’s an especially good read on the heels of Woods’ top ten finish in Andorra today. One question and answer below…
CN: Is there anything that you learned from your first Grand Tour that you can take into the Vuelta?
MW: Yeah, big time. I was really lucky to race on a team with Pierre Rolland at the Giro. He was courageous in the race. He would attack so many times before he got into the break, and it kind of spat in the face of a lot of what you’re taught in cycling. Everyone tells you that you’ve only got six bullets that you can use, or you have to suck wheels as long as you can. Yes, you have to be tactically adept and you have to be smart, but in order to win at the WorldTour level you have to be courageous, and that’s what Pierre was.
The level of fearlessness he brought to every stage was inspiring. Seeing that really influenced me and I hope that I can use some of that inspiration. I think the way that I raced at the Tour de Suisse; when I was in a breakaway on stage 6, I attacked and managed to stay away for a long time for 20-something kilometres. I almost won, but I screwed up the final descent, but I think that Pierre Rolland was the catalyst for that.