Kaden Hopkins and Conor White off to encouraging start at Road Cycling World Championships
Bermuda’s Kaden Hopkins and Conor White got their Road Cycling World Championships campaigns off to an encouraging start in Belgium yesterday.
Competing in the Men’s Under-23 Individual Time-Trial, Hopkins completed the 30.3-kilometre flat course, which Started in Knokke-Heit and finished in Brugge, in 37min 21.36sec for a 48th-place finish, with compatriot White just two places behind in 37:36.96.
Danish rider Johan Price Pejtersen claimed victory in 34:29.75, ahead of Austria’s Luca Plapp, in 34:39.99, with Florian Vermeersch, narrowly behind in 34:41.14 to complete the podium places in third.
Reflecting on the race, White revealed his pride at his and Hopkins endeavours against a stellar field, who made the going tough throughout the race with a blistering average pace of a little more than 32mph being clocked.
“The race was an amazing experience,” White said. “It was a completely flat course with only a handful of corners, and that meant that the race was really fast.
“I didn’t really put any pressure on myself to finish a certain position because I knew I was racing against some of the best under-23 riders in the world. My overall goal was to go out and try to perform my best time-trial I’ve ever done.
“I feel like I was able to do that because for the first time I finished a time-trial with an average speed over 30mph. Despite that, it’s crazy how I was still three minutes down on the overall winner. The top guys averaged around 33mph!
“Overall, I am just very proud of how Kaden and I both performed today. We are both now looking to the road race on Friday where Nicholas [Narraway] will also join us.”
Hopkins, White and Narraway make up part of the Bermudian contingent, which also includes Alexander Miller and Liam Flannery, who are competing against the world’s best road cyclists in the 100th anniversary edition of the event in the region of Flanders, one of the heartlands of the sport.
Flannery and Miller will be competing for the first time today in the Junior Men’s Time-Trial before both return for the Junior Men’s Road Race on Friday, followed a few hours later by Hopkins, White and Narraway racing in the under-23 category.