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Tour de France: Canadian Michael Woods storms away from Matteo Jorgenson to win stage nine

Michael Woods had more left in the tank than Matteo Jorgenson after a late breakaway and charged away from the American to claim stage nine of the Tour de France.

Michael Woods charged up the Puy de Dome to beat Matteo Jorgenson to a breakaway victory on stage nine of the Tour de France as Tadej Pogacar clawed back a few more seconds on race leader Jonas Vingegaard.
Woods took almost two minutes out of Jorgenson on the steep gradients of the dormant volcano, making its first appearance in the Tour in 35 years, rounding the American with 450 metres remaining to take his first career Tour de France stage at the age of 36.
More than eight minutes later, the main contenders made it to the summit of this famous climb, with Pogacar using an attack inside the last 1,500 metres to claw back eight seconds on Vingegaard, whose advantage in yellow is down to 17 seconds going into Monday's rest day.
"It's not a victory but a small victory," Pogacar said. "I'm super happy today, it was super nice. It was quite relaxed until the last climb, then I felt my legs immediately were good so I was just waiting for the final 1.5km.
"I just went and when I started with an attack I could see the shadow of (Vingegaard). I could see he was full gas behind me so I pushed more and the gap opened. Then I had to continue all the way to the top."
Vingegaard fought to limit his losses, but Pogacar's form will be a concern after he also picked up time with his victory on stage six.
"I guess it will be quite a battle, the next two weeks," Vingegaard said. "I didn't have the best day. I think the rest day will do me good."
After Vingegaard, British duo Simon Yates and Tom Pidcock were the next riders home, with Yates recovering a little of the losses caused by a late crash on Saturday, and Pidcock putting in an encouraging ride that lifted him to seventh overall.
The Olympic mountain bike champion has the goal of testing himself in the general classification this year, taking patience over the three weeks, but the 23-year-old's comments after the stage suggest he is wrestling with his racer's instinct.
"Finishing fourth out of the (general classification) riders is great but no one will remember that in a few days," Pidcock said.
"I want to try and win a stage, I want to try and get my hands in the air and then I'll be happy but being close on GC makes it tricky to do that."
Woods and Jorgenson were among 14 riders who went clear early on the 182.5km stage from Saint Leonard de Noblat, the former hometown of the late, great Raymond Poulidor, who got as close as he ever did to winning the Tour on the Puy de Dome in 1964 by cutting his deficit to Jacques Anquetil to 14 seconds.
The narrow road that spirals its way to the summit has plenty of Tour history but none since 1988, for so long deemed too narrow to safely accommodate the modern race.
With fans barred from the final four kilometres it made for a strange but dramatic finale on its return, but one Jorgenson will not remember fondly.
The 24-year-old American broke clear of his fellow escapees with a little under 50km to go, with marked man Woods caught in a group that ended up third on the road.
Jorgenson started the steepest section of the climb, where screaming hoards of fans gave way to silence and suffering, with 80 seconds advantage over three chasing riders, while Woods and company were another 25 seconds back.
But the Canadian went on a charge as the road went up, eating into the gap and catching Jorgenson within the last 500 metres. At the end of his resources, Jorgenson was passed by both Pierre LaTour and Matej Mohoric to end the day fourth as Woods celebrated.
"I'm still having a pinch myself moment," the Israel-Premier Tech rider said. "I can't believe I did it. I'm really proud of myself, I'm really proud of my team, it's special…
"I'm 36, turning 37 this year, I'm not getting any younger. I've always talked about winning a stage at the Tour de France and I've finally achieved it."

READ MORE: Tour de France: Mark Cavendish misses out on historic win after crash on stage eight

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