Hopkins has firm hold of the U23 leader’s jersey
Bermuda riders Kaden Hopkins and Dominique Mayho enjoyed another successful day as part of the Bermuda-Puerto Rico Development Team in stage three of the Vuelta Independencia in Dominican Republic today.
The 133-kilometre race provided the first major uphill challenge, a ten-kilometre climb after 90 kilometre, for the riders during a day of heavy rain, which resulted in several crashes and a hectic fight for positions.
Fortunately, Hopkins Mayho and Puerto Rican team-mates Julian Molina, Julian Otero and Brian Leon stayed clear of any trouble on the fast, technical run to the finish and ensured they were near the front of the action.
Mayho placed eleventh in the stage to move up to eighth on general classification, with Hopkins just four seconds back to finish the day sixth on general classification and maintaining a firm hold on the under-23 leader's jersey.
“Dom and I got into an early break with Julian, our team-mate, and about ten other riders, which forced the GC leaders team to do a massive effort to pull us back because he couldn't let me up the road; we got caught about 15 miles later,” Hopkins said.
“[The group] stayed together until the big climb and then got blown apart. All of our guys made the main front group.
“When the rain started, I didn't want to risk my position, so I rolled to the back. I only lost about five seconds, so I am not stressed at all. There is still a long way to go. I am climbing well, so I am hopeful for [today's] big mountain stage”
Mayho added: “The team rode really well today. The finish was crazy in the rain. There was a group of eight off the front.
“Our team-mate Julian Otero, who kept attacking in the last 20 kilometres, was in a gap on his own and got ninth, and I was second in the bunch sprint. There was a fast downhill, a sharp right turn and then a steep uphill finish. All I heard was crashes behind.”
Stage four tomorrow will be a 138-kilometre circuit race.