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No traditional Tour de France tune-up stage race for Michael Woods, the Mont Ventoux Challenge instead

No traditional Tour de France tune-up stage race for Michael Woods, the Mont Ventoux Challenge instead

The first two times Michael Woods raced the Tour de France, he took on one of the traditional warm-up stage races beforehand, the Critérium du…

Tuesday, Jun 14

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The first two times Michael Woods raced the Tour de France, he took on one of the traditional warm-up stage races beforehand, the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2019 and the Tour de Suisse–in which he won the King of the Mountains–last season. But on Tuesday, while the third stage of the Tour de Suisse rolled to the east, Woods, expected to be on La Grande Boucle’s start line in Copenhagen on July 1, raced the fourth edition of the one-day Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge in France, perhaps in hope of taking crucial UCI points for his beleaguered Israel-Premier Tech team.

Although Rusty was in on the action on the lower slopes of the second clamber up Ventoux, he wasn’t in the mix for the final two-thirds of the 18.5 climb. Israel-Premier Tech’s UCI points would come from Guy Niv in 14th. Woods and compatriot James Piccoli finished on the same time, +13:15, in 37th and 36th place.

EF Education-Easypost took 213 UCI points, with Ruben Guerreiro and Esteban going one-two atop the Giant of Provence. In the women’s first edition, Marta Cavalli earned the day’s flowers. The top Canadian was Clara Edmond of Emotional.fr-Tornatech-GSC Blagnac VS31 in 14th. The Course

There were a few small climbs to prepare the legs early in the day, but Tuesday’s race was all about the double ascent of Mont Ventoux. First, a 24.5 km, 4.9 percent climb from Sault, before an 18.5 km, 7.9 percent assault from Bédoin. Movistar pushed the pace in the peloton […]

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