Hopkins: Mayho still man to beat
Kaden Hopkins believes he still has a point to prove in the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race despite being a previous winner of the Bermuda Day event.
At the age of 17, Hopkins shot to prominence, winning the race in 2017 in a thrilling battle with the highly fancied Matthew Oliveira, to become the first son of a champion to win, following in his father Greg's footsteps, a winner in 1999.
However, with the omission of one of the island's top riders, Dominique Mayho that day, Hopkins admits that victory against the defending champion this time around would finally put to bed any doubts of the validity of the accomplishment of taking the top honours on the biggest local stage.
“I'm really looking forward to Friday. It is definitely one of the most memorable races on the calender for me personally because it's at home,” said Hopkins of the invitation-only 13.1-mile race that follows the same route as the Bermuda Day Half Marathon.
“Dominique was away the year I won it which really helped me because he is arguably the strongest rider.
“I feel like I've still got a point to prove even though winning it a such a young age was a massive deal. Now that everyone is back, I feel like I can prove I deserve to win it properly in a way.
“Dom would be the only person to win it four times, so he'll be super motivated to win it again. I'll be just as motivated to win it for a second time.
“Dom and Conor White will definitely be the two biggest danger men for me. “The three of us are all capable of winning it. I think it will come down to who rides the smartest and makes their move at the right time.
“It's probably going to be one of the fastest May 24 races there's been in a very long time.”
Whatever the outcome Hopkins always relishes the opportunity to compete in such a “special” race named after former champion Sinclair Packwood.
“It is definitely a special race. It's one of my favourite and funnily enough one I get most nervous for,” Hopkins added,
“Because it's on Bermuda Day, it makes it so awesome but it also brings more pressure for me; it's hard to explain.
“I think the main reason is because it's a memorial race for such a special person and it's for a great cause so it means so much more than a normal race.
“Everyone comes out to compete and support the race and with it being part of such an important day makes it all the more special.”