Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) gained a two-man battle to the end line to take the stage 3 victory at La Route d’Occitanie-La Dépêche du Midi.
The Canadian shaped a part of a late-race assault on the slopes of the summit end, ending three seconds forward of breakaway companion Cristián Rodríguez (Arkéa-Samsic) at Nistos.
Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) was a part of the choose chase group and completed third on the day, 12 seconds behind Woods.
Woods now leads the general classification by 9 seconds forward of Rodríguez and 40 seconds forward of Georg Steinhauser (EF Training-EasyPost).
The way it unfolded
The third stage of La Route d’Occitanie was 189km starting in Gimont and ending with a summit end at Nistos. After a protracted trip by means of the valley roads, the peloton hit three successive ascents; Col de Larriu (4.7km at 6.7%), Col de Menté (10.8km at 6.4%) after which the summit to Nistos-Cap Nestes (7.9km at 8.4%) to the end line.
An early breakaway shaped that included Stephen Williams (Israel-Premier Tech), Benoit Cosnefroy (Ag2r Citroen Crew), Celestin Guillon (van Rysel-Roubaix Lille Metropole), Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Crew Arkea-Samsic), Fabien Doubey (Complete Energies), Lorenzo Germani (Groupama-FDJ), Théo Delacroix (ST Michel-Mavic–Auber93), Joris Delbove (ST Michel-Mavic-Auber93), Maxime Urruty (Good Metropole Cote d’Azur), Josu Etxeberria Azpilikueta (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Pelayo Sanchez Mayo (Burgos-bh), Sandy Dujardin (Complete Energies) and Thomas Boudat (Van Rysel -Roubaix Lille Metropole).
The massive group gained over 5 minutes on the principle peloton. Nonetheless, the breakaway misplaced one rider as Rodriguez sat up and returned to the peloton.
Because the breakaway hit the ultimate climbs, it misplaced a number of riders and was lowered to only eight, with the hole dropping to beneath three minutes as Movistar led the peloton behind.
Israel Premier Tech took over the pace-setting as a lowered discipline entered the Col de Menté, beneath two minutes behind the breakaway. With Movistar and Israel Premier Tech controlling the hole, it dropped to beneath a minute forward of the ultimate ascent.
Catching the remnants of the early breakaway, a choose group of climbers shaped on the decrease slopes of the Nistos-Cap Nestes, the place Woods surged, and solely Rodriguez might observe.
Woods and Rodríguez discovered themselves alone in pursuit of the stage victory. The pair held a promising lead on the eight chasers and almost a minute forward of the principle group.
The chase behind included Jesús Herrada and Victor Lafay (Cofidis), Iván Ramiro Sosa, Ruben Guerreiro and Einer Augusto Rubio (Movistar), Georg Steinhauser (EF Training-EasyPost) and Woods’ teammate Domenico Pozzovivo. The chase by no means made it again as much as the 2 leaders.
Woods made his profitable transfer inside the ultimate few hundred metres, on the prime of the ascent, taking the win by three seconds, as Rodríguez was pressured to accept second.
The race continues with the stage 4 closing from Saint-Gaudens to Saint-Girons on Sunday.
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