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Canada Rides High, Making History with Stunning Tour de France Triumph

With sweat on his brow and determination in his veins, Michael Woods inspired future generations of Canadian cyclists with an epic win

Canadian-born Michael Woods captured the most significant triumph of his career in the ninth stage of the world’s most prestigious bike race, the Tour de France.

Woods, born in Toronto and raised in Ottawa, was part of an early breakaway of 14 riders in the ninth stage. With an epic display of grit, Woods aught American Matteo just 500 metres from the summit. Jorgenson had broken away from the leading group with less than 50 kilometres left.

Woods dropped Jorgenson and was the first to reach the summit of the Puy de Dome, a famed volcanic crater in the Massif Central region of south-central France.

“With Jorgenson being so strong, I (knew) it was going to be very, very difficult to come back, and I doubted it,” Woods said after the race. “But, I didn’t really worry about that. I just focused on myself and continued to believe. Regardless of the outcome, I was going to go my hardest all the way to the top.”

He certainly did that.

Woods, who also owns two stage wins at the Spanish Vuelta, was ecstatic after the win. “To win a Tour de France stage was my ultimate goal, and I could see the window closing,” said the 36-year-old Woods.

Woods adds to the roster of Canadian Tour stage winners.

While no Canadian has yet won the Tour de France, several Canadian cyclists have made their mark on the prestigious race.

St. Catharines, Ontario native Steve Bauer achieved great success during his 11 attempts at the Tour. Bauer finished fourth in the 1988 Tour, winning the first stage. He held the yellow jersey worn by the race leader for five days, becoming just the second Canadian to wear the coveted jersey.

Vancouver-born Alex Stieda was the first to wear the yellow jersey. He wore it for a single day. Stieda led five classifications of the Tour de France on the second day of the 1986 Tour: the general classification, the mountains classification, the combination classification, the intermediate sprints classification and the young rider classification, becoming the first North American to lead the Tour. He ultimately finished in 120th place in his only attempt at the race.

More recently, Ryder Hesjedal had several notable performances in the Tour de France, finishing fifteen in 2010. The Victoria-born Hesjedal became the first Canadian to win a Grand Tour by claiming victory in the 2012 Giro d’Italia.

Canadian Hugo Houle, Woods’ current Israel-Premier Tech teammate, won Stage 16 of last year’s Tour. Woods finished third that day.
Houle’s win in 2022 was the first stage win by a Canadian since Steve Bauer captured the opening stage of the Tour in 1988.

So, let’s raise our hockey sticks to celebrate Woods, our latest Canadian champion. His triumphant victory reminds us that anything is possible with hard work, determination, and a sprinkle of Canadian magic.

With this remarkable win, Woods has etched his name in the annals of Canadian sporting history, forever inspiring future generations to dream big and reach for the stars.

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