Michael Woods admitted it was ‘full panic stations’ during stage 10 of the Tour de France where crosswinds led to a number of GC contenders losing time, including Woods’ team leader Rigoberto Uran,
“We tried to be proactive and tried to get on the front foot and take advantage of the wind, but we moved up a touch too early and got overwhelmed,” Woods said.
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“In the end we ended up being in the second group and it was just full panic stations just trying to bring that gap down”
As is the case when crosswinds form race defining echelons, and Woods said how confusion and panic made it tricky for the teams to bring the leaders back.
“Groupama-FDJ, us and Astana were really riding hard to bring it back but unfortunately guys like Luis Leon Sanchez were just too strong and blew us all up when they took some big pulls on the climbs and it kind of fell apart after that,” he said.
Today’s stage is the third unfortunate incident that has plagued the American team over the past week, after Tejay van Garderen was forced to abandon and Woods himself crashed bringing down Geraint Thomas.
“It’s not where we wanted to be in terms of GC but Rigo is still not in a terrible position and really this race isn’t going to come down to a few seconds when you look at the last three stages minus Paris.
“It’s going to be coming down to minutes so we are not out of it at all.”
Sports director Charly Wegelius was unsure on what exactly happened from the team being in a commanding position but believes a change in strategy could be incoming when racing resumes after tomorrow’s rest day.
“Nobody wants to lose time in a race like this, it changes the strategy a bit but we are not alone in that and we’ll see what the plan is going forward.”