Kaden Hopkins makes his points after finishing 12th in Stage 5
Kaden Hopkins finished twelfth in Stage 5 of the Vuelta Independencia in the Dominican Republic yesterday after staying in among the leaders for the sprint of the 146-kilometre race.
Hopkins, who clocked the same time of 3hr 19min 29sec as winner Cesar Marte Arias, of the Dominican Republic, also picked up more points for his placing and leads the points competition on 57, ahead of the Venezuela pair of Robert Sierra and Klesmas Yurgen Ramirez, who have 56 and 55 points respectively.
Hopkins, 20, is tenth overall in the general classification which is led by Ramirez with an overall time of 17:17:15. Hopkins is 9:19 behind the Venezuelan.
“As it was a flatter stage, I wanted to focus on resting my legs as much as possible,” Hopkins said.
“When the break got pulled back with 15km to go, I decided to try and get as close as possible to the front to take some more points. I got enough to get me back into the lead of the points competition and my goal for the rest of the week will be to keep it.”
The Bermudian is also third among 19 riders in the under-23 category. He is representing a combined Puerto Rico-Bermuda team.
Hopkins sealed a memorable victory in Stage 3 on Wednesday before missing out on a top-ten finish in the 129km “Queen Mountain stage”, which took the riders on a gruelling course from Santo Domingo to Rancho Arriba.
Hopkins and his Puerto Rican team-mates — Luis Molina Pagan, Julian Otero Gonzalez and Bryan Leon Torres — are tenth overall in the general team category, 33:48 behind first-placed Venezuela who have a combined time of 52:06:19.