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Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling) is making rapid progress on the road back from a broken femur.
Having crashed heavily at Paris-Nice this March, the Canadian climber and former elite runner feels he’s where he wants to be and ahead of schedule in his convalescence.
“I’m almost 100 percent,” Woods said on his team’s website. “I can’t run yet, but I can do everything else. I can walk around with my daughter, and I can ride my bike. It’s as if there’s nothing; I feel completely normal on the bike again, so I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made.”
Woods’ crash on a descending corner in stage 5 of Paris-Nice this winter was as well-timed as such an such injury could be. Just days later, the season began shutting down as coronavirus took hold of Europe. Thanks to a top surgeon being available to treat Woods almost immediately on his admission to hospital in Lyon, he was able to make it back to his home in Girona before France shut its borders.
Since then, Woods has slowly and patiently been making his way back to health, and was able to return to training on the roads on the very same day that Spain eased its restrictions on outdoor activities.
Now, with WorldTour racing set to resume in under six weeks, the 33-year-old is back in off-season shape, saying he’s “doing the same numbers” as he’d expect to see in the fall downtime window.
“Basically, I see this as if it was late October, early November, and I’m doing the Tour Down Under in January,” he said. “I’m sitting on the bike and I have the same sensations, and the same weight. There’s a bit of a power discrepancy between my left and right leg, but it’s pretty close to being equal now. I think given the runway that I have, I know I can always get fit in two months.”
Despite being a relative latecomer to the pro peloton, Woods’ long background as a top-level runner has given him a close understanding of his body and what does and doesn’t work. And though his EF Pro Cycling Team has yet to confirm his schedule, Woods is optimistic he’ll be in shape for when racing resumes.
“I’m a responder,” he said. “I’m a responder in good ways and bad ways. I can be the worst athlete ever if I take time off, and then I can be one of the best riders in the world if you give me a two months runway of hard work.”