Second stage podium place for Hopkins in Dominican Republic
Kaden Hopkins continued his impressive start to the Vuelta Independencia by claiming a place on the podium in stage 2 in the Dominican Republic today.
Having finished yesterday’s 156.2-kilometre first stage in an encouraging ninth place overall, Hopkins built on that momentum to finish in third after a gruelling 162km second leg in Santo Domingo.
It was almost a perfect outing for the Bermuda rider, who broke from the leading pack with 2km to go only to be caught right on the line to agonisingly lose out to Robert Sierra and race winner Jonathan Ogando Reynoso, with all three being given a time of 4hr 8min 50 sec.
Despite the disappointment of being pipped on the line, Hopkins, who is representing the Mixed Puerto Rico/Bermuda team can take huge confidence from his performance which has seen him move up in both the general classification and Under-23 standings.
The 20-year-old moved up one position to eighth in the general classification where he finds himself 3:45 adrift of standings leader Geovanny Garcia, who has an accumulative total time of 7:32:27 after two stages.
Hopkins also moved up a position to second in the Under-23 classification where he has reduced the overall deficit to standings leader Steven Manuel Elena Polanco by four seconds, to now trail by 3:35, heading into tomorrow’s 123km third stage from Santo Domingo to Monte Plata.
“I felt strong throughout the stage,” Hopkins told The Royal Gazette. “Yesterday was very hard so I spent most of the day trying to rest the legs as much as possible.
“When the early break got pulled back with 10km to go I realised a stage win was possible. With 5km to go the sprinters were all in position and I knew I wouldn’t be able to match them so I decided to attack with just over 2km to the finish.
“I opened up a couple hundred meters lead but the speed of the peloton was so fast that I was caught in the final meters by sprinters that were leading the bunch.
“I feel I am in good form and will look to take back time on the coming days if possible.”