Ottawa’s Mike Woods keeps going in Tour de France despite broken ribs

Canadian rider Michael Woods, of Education First team, reacts after winning the 17th stage of the 2018 La Vuelta cycling tour, 12 September 2018. Ignoring two broken ribs, Woods finished 88th in Thursday's 209.5-kilometre Stage 12 of the Tour de France. EPA/Manuel Bruque

Ignoring two broken ribs, Canadian Mike Woods finished 88th in Thursday’s 209.5-kilometre Stage 12 of the Tour de France.

His EF Education First team said a scan had shown the damage suffered by the 32-year-old from Ottawa in a crash 35 kilometres from the finish of the previous stage.

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Woods kept going, however.

“I broke two ribs. They’re clean breaks. No surgery needed, so I’m cleared to continue,” he said on social media.

Dutch teammate Sebastian Langeveld suffered road rash to his shoulder, elbow, hip and knee in the same crash. He too remains in the race, finishing 165th in Thursday’s stage.

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Woods, who tumbled down the standings after losing time in a Stage 8 crash, stands 51st overall.

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Fellow Canadian Hugo Houle, a native of Sainte-Perpetue, Que., who rides for the Astana Pro Team, is 95th overall. He was 53rd in Thursday’s stage.

Woods in no stranger to riding in pain.

He crashed at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege one-day race in 2016, breaking his hand in three places and injuring his back.

Amazingly, Woods competed in the 2016 Rio Olympic road race despite breaking his femur in advance, finishing 55th after throwing up in mid-competition.

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An early-season bout of rotavirus — he thinks it was a buffet in Dubai at the Tour of Abu Dhabi that caused the problem — sent Woods to hospital in early 2018.

British rider Simon Yates, the reigning Spanish Vuelta champion, posted his first Tour stage win Thursday after a long breakaway that did not shuffle the overall standings.

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France’s Julian Alaphilippe retained the race leader’s yellow jersey ahead of Friday’s time trial in Pau, 72 seconds ahead of defending champion Geraint Thomas of Britain.

Thomas’ teammate Egan Bernal of Colombia remained third, a further four seconds behind.

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