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Michael Woods plans Ironman debut post-cycling career

"I don't want to just 'tri,'" says Woods. "I actually want to invest myself into it and see if I can go and be competitive at the Ironman discipline."

Michael Woods is a professional cyclist on the EF Education First Pro Cycling Team. And in the month of July, he completed one of the most historic cycling races – the Tour de France. Despite being involved in a few crashes (one that broke two of his ribs), Woods animated the race with attacks and helped his team leader Rigoberto Urán finish seventh overall.

EF Education First Pro Cycling Team in Paris (Michael Woods third from the right).

Before Woods’ cycling career, he was one of Canada’s strongest middle-distance runners. As a junior and U-23 athlete, Woods set national records in the mile and 3K track events. He still holds the Canadian U20 mile record of 3:57.48. He was also a multiple-year national champion and won gold at the Pan American Junior Championships. Having just completed the Tour de France, Woods is the first person to complete the Tour de France and have ran a sub-4-minute mile.

Earlier in May, the Canadian jokingly hinted at an Ironman debut following his cycling career. Well, according to Woods, he isn’t joking.

Canadian professional cyclist Michael Woods.

Related: Michael Woods playfully hints at an Ironman debut in 2024

In an interview with Matthew Pioro, print editor at Canadian Cycling Magazine and host of The Cycling Magazine Podcast, Woods says he can swim and has aspirations to race an Ironman. “I’m a proficient swimmer from a health and safety perspective,” says Woods. “I got all my badges as a kid, you know, but I’m not like Michael Phelps ripping it up in the pool.”

Michael Woods on his way to winning a stage at the 2018 Vuelta a España.

Before his cycling career, which so far includes a bronze medal at the 2018 World Championships, a stage win in the Vuelta a España (Spain’s Tour de France equivalent), and multiple top-five finishes at the historic Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Woods actually contemplated competing in triathlons after running. “I have done some competitive swim classes, as I did entertain doing triathlon prior to getting into cycling,” says Woods.

So, when Woods decides to call it quits in the pro peloton, expect to see him at an Ironman one day. “I don’t want to just ‘tri,'” says Woods. “I actually want to invest myself into it and see if I can go and be competitive at the Ironman discipline.”

With his running pedigree and world-class cycling ability, Woods certainly has the potential to make the transition to Ironman races and be competitive. This isn’t the first time a pro cyclist has hinted at a triathlon debut. Cam Wurf, former pro cyclist and Kona bike course record holder, hinted that Geraint Thomas would be interested in making the transition to triathlons after he retires from cycling.