Michael Woods leads Richie Porte up a climb on Stage 2 of the Herald Sun Tour. Picture: Michael Klein
Michael Woods leads Richie Porte up a climb on Stage 2 of the Herald Sun Tour. Picture: Michael Klein

Porte: pressure on Woods after cheeky win

FIRSTLY, let me say Michael Woods deserved that.

I wasn't thrilled by him sitting on my wheel for the last kilometre and beating me to the line, but that's bike racing isn't it?

Woodsy has really turned it on in the last 12 months, but he's got all the pressure on him now in this Herald Sun Tour.

His EF Education First team are going to have to control the next two days and it's certainly not going to be easy to do that up Arthurs Seat on Saturday.

Friday's Stage 3 doesn't look like much on paper, but if the wind is like it was in Stage 2 on Thursday then the race could just rip apart.

So he's probably going to have some sleepless nights, which is fine by me.

 

Michael Woods on his way to winning Stage 2. Picture: Michael Klein
Michael Woods on his way to winning Stage 2. Picture: Michael Klein

As for Stage 2 and that gravel climb, I enjoyed it. It was a good day on a really nice course, albeit pretty hard there towards the end.

It was something different with the gravel extending onto the descent for a bit, but it wasn't bad at all and it wasn't dangerous.

I've been riding alongside Woodsy at the Tour Down Under, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and now here, but time will tell if I've got him covered.

I haven't been fantastic health-wise, but I'm getting better each day. We get to Arthurs Seat on Saturday and I've done that before. It's not a bad climb for me, but it's also not a bad climb for Michael.

Michael Woods celebrates winning Stage 2. Picture: Michael Klein
Michael Woods celebrates winning Stage 2. Picture: Michael Klein

It's all to play for, but I wouldn't say it's a two-horse race, either.

Kenny Elissonde could climb well on Saturday and I think Team Sky really made the race on Thursday when they took it up in the crosswinds.

It was a hard climb and I was looking for Lucas Hamilton. From an Aussie point of view, he's the next one. He's a fantastic little rider and don't discount him on Saturday.

I'm really enjoying this. It's fantastic to come back and race in the Herald Sun Tour against the best Aussie pros and there's a really good field here.