The Canadian, who finished as runner-up at Milano-Torino back in 2016, accelerated on the final kilometre on the steep climb up to Superga Basilica overlooking Turin, to finish in 4hr 03min 48sec.
Egan Bernal (Ineos), Gorka Izagirre (Astana), Tiejs Benoot (Lotto Soudal), and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) all yo-yo’d on and off the pace as David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Woods continually attacked, with Valverde the only constant presence on their wheels.
With 500 meters from the line, Woods put in a big surge at the front and dropped the rest of the group. Valverde managed to keep Woods within his sights, but Woods held off the Spaniard to take the victory.
“Anytime you can beat Alejandro Valverde it’s a special time,” said Woods after the race.
“The big goal is to chase victory or a podium position at Lombardia,” he said. “I wanted to have a big win this season and this already stands as a big win when you look at the field. A win at Lombardia would be icing on the cake.”
Milano-Torino 2019 results:
|1||Michael Woods (EF Education First)|
|2||Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)|
|3||Adam Yates (Mitchelton – Scott)|
|4||Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal)|
|5||David Gaudu (Groupama – FDJ)|
|6||Egan Bernal (Team Ineos)|
|7||Bauke Mollema (Trek – Segafredo)|
|8||Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)|
|9||Kevin Rivera (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec)|
|10||Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|