Flèche hopeful Woods a quick study with good teachers

    Canadian Mike Woods has been tapped to lead Cannondale-Drapac at Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday. It’s a rare opportunity for a second year professional. As Woods explained to VeloNews, it’s an opportunity he can confidentially embrace with teammates as generous teachers.

    In 2013 Michael Woods was a first-year pro on Continental team Garneau-Quebecor. That same year Alex Howes raced the Vuelta a España, and Rigoberto Uran won a stage at the Giro d’Italia, finishing second overall. This week the three men will spearhead Cannondale-Drapac’s ambitions at Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

    Woods, 30, is gleaning as much knowledge as he can from his experienced teammates. That tutelage may pay off for Woods in Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne, where he will race as Cannondale’s team leader.

    “For Alex [Howes] it’s been an exercise in frustration the first while riding with me,” Woods said. “He’s been riding for so many years, he’s such an experienced pro, and you’ve got this guy who’s just making all these rookie mistakes all the time. He’s been really good with me. Same with Simon [Clarke]; they’re both amazing positioners. I’ve learned to lean on those two guys. It’s paying off big time.”

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