Kaden Hopkins takes positives from DNF in Vigo
Kaden Hopkins believes he enjoyed his most encouraging performance for Equipo Essax despite failing to finish in the latest round of the Spanish Cup in Vigo.
Having endured a difficult outing in the 87th Santa Cruz Cycling Classic last week, the Bermudian rider returned to action in the nation’s most prestigious amateur competition to tackle the gruelling 176.8-kilometre course on Spain’s north-west coast.
The 21-year-old got off to a promising start, staying well positioned in the front bunch for the first half of the race.
However, disaster soon after struck as Hopkins was hit the misfortune of a flat tyre during the third steep climb. After a stoppage to get the tyre replaced, he was faced with the task of having to chase down the pack and reduce the enforced deficit.
To his credit, Hopkins managed to reel in the group, but his endeavours took their toll as another excruciating climb, pushed on by the bigger teams at the front of the pack, ended Hopkins’s pursuit and, ultimately, his race.
Despite the disappointment of not crossing the finish line, Hopkins opted to focus on the positives of what he believes to be his most encouraging ride since relocating to Spain to sign a one-year deal with Equipo Essax, the elite under-23 team of the illustrious Spanish Sax Cycling Club, at the end of last year.
“I had the most positive race experience I’ve had by far since I got here,” Hopkins told The Royal Gazette. “I was positioned great all race, always in the first ten riders and fuelled perfectly.
“I was even climbing with the front climbers for the first half of the race, but heading into the base of the third climb I got a flat. Thankfully I was able to get back to the team car to change it, get back in and get straight back to the front with no issue.
“For the rest of the climb it was full gas and I had the best legs possible but I was distanced in the last kilometre of the climb.
“I left the race with my head held high because I know I did everything right and it was simply because I couldn't match the strength the big teams set on the climbs.
“I am confident now that I will race well heading forward with regards to positioning and the training will follow its course for me to get the power I need.”