Hopkins has Road World Championship dream dashed
Kaden Hopkins's hopes of making his mark at the UCI Road World Championships have been dashed after organisers confirmed the event had been reduced.
Hopkins, who was named the BBA Male Rider of the Year for 2019, had high hopes of receiving an invitation to the Under-23 Championships, which are taking place in the Italian city of Imola in the central Emilia-Romagna region from September 24 to 27.
However, any aspirations of competing were ended this week after confirmation the four-day Championships will only include the Elite men's and Elite women's time trial and road race events, while the The Junior and Under-23 world championships had been canceled.
The news will come as a major blow to the 20-year-old who had been gearing up to hit peak form by the time the championships started.
In the build up to the event, Hopkins, who attends Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, has been in scintillating form, winning a host of local races including the VT Construction Individual Time-Trial, Bermuda Rouleurs Cycle Club Individual Time-Trial, the Winners Edge Individual Time-Trial, Bermuda Time-Trial National Championships and the BJC Criterium.
“I've been hoping to go to the worlds all year,” Hopkins said previously. “A lot of my training has been focused on that and just building on the base I have and trying to ramp up some intensity to it. I'm really motivated this year and hopefully I will be in the best shape I've ever been when September rolls around.”
The championship itself looked to be in doubt after organisers deemed the original venue Aigle-Martigny in Switzerland, impossible to use due to the country's restrictions on public gatherings and quarantine requirements amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, new host bids were submitted with Imola, some 40km south of Bologna, preferred ahead of a French bid from the Haute-Saône department that included a finish on the La Planche des Belles Filles climb that will host the final time trial of the Tour de France.
Italy has far lower cases of Covid-19 than France at the moment and so is able to respect the UCI medical protocol and is unlikely to be affected by the risk of a second wave of cases and local lockdown measures.
All the racing will finish on the Enzo e Dino Ferrari motor racing circuit on the edge of Imola, with the infrastructure of the motor racing infrastructure reducing the time and costs needed to put on a major race.