Fleche on Strava: Mike Woods crushes the Mur

Spencer Powlison /
Cannondale's Mike Woods crossed the line 12th in his debut at La Flèche Wallonne.

Canadian Mike Woods made an impressive classics debut at Flèche Wallonne, riding to 12th place in Wednesday’s 196-kilometer WorldTour race in Belgium. Like a lot of young pros, the first-year Cannondale rider posts his races to Strava, and to the delight of number-crunchers everywhere, his Flèche Wallonne ride included power data from the day.

For starters, Woods deserves kudos for nabbing the Mur de Huy KOM, matching Wilco Keldermann’s time from last year’s race — 3:23 on the 1.13km segment, which averages 10 percent gradient. To do that, he averaged 487 watts, topping out at 690w. That works out to about 7.61 watts/kg for the Ottawa native.

Over the course of the nearly five-hour day, Woods’s average weighted power was 284 watts, and his max was 932w. He averaged 40.9kph and hit a max of 93.2kph.

However, the 29-year-old expected even better, despite the day’s impressive result.

“Looking back at the day I am pretty disappointed in myself,” he said. “I had really good legs, and unbelievable support from the guys on the team, but I just didn’t execute from a positioning perspective in the closing kilometers leading into the Mur de Huy. This was entirely my fault, and it cost me, and the team, a real result today. Knowing the form that I am on, and how good I felt on the final climbs, this was a missed opportunity. However all this being said, I loved this race and this course. JV [Jonathan Vaughters] had me pegged as a guy that could one day win here, and now I believe him.”