TOKYO (July 24, 2021) – Michael Woods continued to prove that he belongs in an Elite class of climbers on Saturday during the Olympic men’s road race, finishing the 234-kilometer race in 5th after a nail-biting sprint finish.
After over six hours of racing in 35-degree temperatures, Woods was part of a group of eight cyclists fighting to bridge the gap with eventual Olympic champion Richard Carapaz. With just 300-metres left in the race, Mike positioned himself and sprinted to the finish line where he was edged out of a podium spot.
Despite his goal of winning an Olympic medal, his race was a great improvement from the Rio 2016 Games where he raced with a fractured hip and finished in 55th. His performance also ranks as the second-best in Canadian men’s road cycling history after Steve Bauer’s silver medal at the Los Angeles Games in 1984.
“My goal was to try and get separation and attack on the final circuit, but I just wasn’t strong enough to get away,” said Woods post-race. “I have no regrets. I did all I could.”
Seeking redemption with the goal of a medal, Woods is already thinking about the Paris 2024 Games. “The Olympics are one of those races that really motivated me as a cyclist, and if Paris is a challenging course, I think I’ll for sure keep it going until then. That’s going to be a big goal of mine for sure.”
Helping propel Woods into the top-five finish were Canadian teammates, Guillaume Boivin, who made his Olympic debut in the event finishing 65th, and two-time Olympian Hugo Houle who finished the event in 85th.
Tomorrow, two-time Olympians Leah Kirchmann and Karol-Ann Canuel, as well as Olympic newcomer Alison Jackson will race at 12:00 a.m. EST. The event can be streamed on CBC Olympics.