Hopkins seals top-ten finish in overall classification standings
After seven stages and more than 1,000km ridden, Kaden Hopkins completed another highly encouraging Vuelta Independencia campaign in the Dominican Republic.
Having finished eighth in the sixth stage on Saturday, the Bermuda rider headed into the final race yesterday, still well within contention of successfully retaining his Under-23 crown, as well cementing his place within the top ten of the general classification.
Staying within the leading pack, the 20-year-old crossed the finish line for the final time in ninth place, in which he was given the same finishing time as winner Cesar Alberto Marte Arias in 2hr 55min flat.
His endeavours were also enough to secure him a top-ten finish in the general classification standings with Hopkins finishing tenth overall, 8:55 adrift of overall winner Klesmas Yurgen Ramirez who finished with an accumulative total time of 20:24:21, more than five minutes ahead of nearest rival Franklin Chacon.
Unfortunately for Hopkins, both his main rivals above him in the Under-23 standings finished ahead of him on the final stage with Omar Antonio Ruiz Peralta sixth and Manuel Steven Polanco Elena seventh.
It proved enough for Peralta to take the honours in the final Under-23 standings, just 21 seconds ahead of Elena and 1:16 ahead of Hopkins, who had to settle for third place overall.
However, while the Mixed Puerto Rico/Bermuda team-rider may be disappointed to have relinquished his title, he can take great heart from a successful campaign which saw him finish second in the overall points standings, just seven adrift of overall points leader Jonanthan Ogando Reynoso.
Among his endeavours, Hopkins can look back on a superb third-stage victory, a hard-earned third place in Stage 2 and six top-ten finishes from the seven stages in total.
The Bermuda Time-Trial National Championships title holder will be aiming to build on his momentum from the Dominican Republic when he joins up with his Equipo Essax team-mates in Spain after being signed to the team’s roster for next year.
Hopkins will be aiming to play a major role in the team’s primary focus, the prestigious Spanish Cup, as well as racing throughout Europe in Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and France as he continues his professional progression.