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Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) soared to the win on the Mirador do Ézaro stage 2 of the 2022 Grand Camiño.
Proving his age is just a number, some 16 seconds behind chased Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), whileRubén Fernandez (Cofidis) rolled through the finish tape some 21 seconds behind the former world champion.
The Canadian launched the winning attack inside of the flamme rouge, which capped the final 1.78km, 14.7 percent grade climb.
The win is the first for his team in the 2022 season.
“I had done this climb in the Vuelta 2020,” recalled Woods. “I already rode this climb once in the individual time trial of the Vuelta a España in 2020. Then I already thought: ‘wouldn’t it be great if there were an uphill finish here.’ I was really looking forward to this ride today because I knew this climb was made for me.”
Exiting the Ruta del Sol early due to illness last week, Woods was quite happy with the win in the new four-day Spanish race.
“A week ago I was already looking for a good result in the Ruta del Sol. I was in good shape, but then I got sick. I hoped that this week I would have the legs before I got sick, and it seems to have worked,” he said.
Woods now leads the GC by a 17-second margin ahead of Valverde.
Stage 3 Saturday is a 148km route from Maceda to Luintra (148 km), and the final stage 4, Sunday, is a 16km individual time trial.
“The overall win is now the goal. Tomorrow is going to be a very hard day, but it’s a good day for me. The time trial on the final day is my Achilles heel, so hopefully, I have good legs and I can take the overall victory.
“If it doesn’t work out, then Jakob [Fuglsang] also does very well. Moreover, he can drive a good time trial,” concluded Woods.