Mayho narrowly misses out on podium
Kaden Hopkins and Dominique Mayho continued their strong performances in the Vuelta Independencia in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, after finishing at the front of the action in the 156-kilometre second stage today.
In an explosive pack finish, which saw the whole field together, and having to negotiate a right turn into the finishing straight, Mayho positioned himself well for the final sprint for the line and placed fourth in a tight finish, with Cesar Marte Arias, of the Dominican, taking the victory.
Hopkins placed fourteenth in the same time and in doing so maintained his top position in the under-23 category and moved up to fourth on General Classification just 24 seconds behind race leader Ismael Sanchez, of the Dominican Republic. Mayho is also in the top ten, in ninth place.
“It was a tough day today,” Mayho said. “I have had an upset stomach and spent most of the day sitting at the back of the pack trying to get through.
“Our plan was to just stay in the field and keep Kaden in the under-23 leader’s jersey. I started to feel better late in the race and whenever it gets closer to the finish my instinct to want to be a part of the sprint kicks in.
“With three kilometres to go there was a group of eight up the road and Kaden just got on the front on his own and pulled them back with a kilometres to go, otherwise we wouldn’t have been part of the final sprint.
“Of course, I wanted the win but all things considered I am happy and Kaden kept the under-23 jersey.”
Hopkins added: “After yesterday’s 70-mile breakaway we were definitely feeling it today. I wasn’t going to go for anything, just hold my position but when Dom said he was feeling better, I just soloed on the front a pulled a break back to give Dom the chance to contest the sprint.”
The 133-kilometres stage three tomorrow will be a major test for all the riders as they face a ten-kilometres climb after about 90 kilometres into the race.
For many it will be a matter of survival as the pure climbers take centre stage.
Team member Conor White, who crashed in stage 1, will return to Canada where he is studying at Brock University having spent the day recuperating.
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