Michael Woods wins historic Italian cycling race

Michael Woods (Connor Mah, Wikimedia Commons)

Michael Woods of Ottawa, Ontario won the prestigious Milan-Turin cycling race on Wednesday. Woods becomes the first Canadian ever to win this 199 kilometre single day race that occurs annually throughout northern Italy.

Woods posted a winning time of four hours, three minutes and 48 seconds. He beat silver medalist Alejandro Valverde of Spain by the slimmest of margins. Valverde had the same time in seconds to Woods, but was behind the Canadian at the finish line. Adam Yates of Great Britain won the bronze medal with a time of four hours, three minutes and 53 seconds.

Woods reached the podium by 10 seconds. Tiesj Benoot of Belgium finished in fourth place with a time of four hours, three minutes and 58 seconds.

Even though Woods is Canadian, he rides for the American-based EF Education First Pro Cycling Team. Woods is the only Canadian on the entire roster as of August 1, 2019.

This was Woods’s second career one-day cycling race victory. He previously won the 2015 Classica Loule in Portugal.

What stands the Milan-Turin race apart from the Portugal race is its rich history. The Milano-Turin race has been around since 1876, and Woods not only became the first Canadian to win the race, but the first North American as well. The gold medal for Woods will give him confidence as he prepares for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

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