Log In

Reset Password

Kaden Hopkins starts season in style with maiden Spanish victory

First Prev 1 2 3 Next Last
Dominant display: Kaden Hopkins crosses the line to win the Interclubs Castalla Road Race in Alicante, his first victory competing for Equipo Essax.
Jubilant scenes: Kaden Hopkins celebrates winning the Interclubs Castalla Road Race in Alicante
Waiting to strike: Kaden Hopkins, during Saturday’s Interclubs Castalla Road Race, broke with 20km to go to ride to the finish solo and cap an impressive display

Kaden Hopkins got his second season competing in Spain off to the perfect start, after claiming a maiden victory with a dominant display in the Interclubs Castalla Road Race in Alicante on Saturday.

The 21-year-old only returned to Spain last week from a break back home in Bermuda over the festive period, after he was handed a new one-year contract late last month by the Equipo Essax hierarchy, having impressed in an encouraging first campaign with the elite under-23 team of the Sax Cycling Club.

Hopkins, building on the momentum of his silver medal-winning display at the Junior Pan Games in Colombia in early December, wasted no time in repaying the faith shown in him, seizing an opportunity to breakaway on one of the climbs with 20km to go, maintaining his advantage to cross solo over the finish line.

His winning time of 1 hr 44mins 52 sec, saw him finish comfortably ahead of the field of 103 riders, with his nearest rival, Angel Llorett, 25 seconds adrift and Antonio Soriano, who completed the podium places, a further six seconds behind.

“I was really happy with the result, it definitely gives me a lot of motivation for the season to really kick off,” said Hopkins. “It really was the best way to start and I hope to be in even better shape come the bigger early season races.”

While, Hopkins was ultimately satisfied with his endeavours throughout his first season with the team, he did concede the transition of relocating and competing at a higher level proved a baptism of fire after initially struggling to adjust to the intensity of the European circuit.

However, instead of dwelling on the disappointments at certain points last season, he instead used it as motivation, determined to return and give a true reflection of not only his willingness to learn and develop within the team, but also his undoubted ability.

With his efforts already paying early dividends, Hopkins is confident he is much better prepared, both mentally and physically for the challenges that lay ahead.

“I learnt a lot last year, especially in terms of the level that I have to be at to be competitive here,” added Hopkins. “Last year it was really like jumping into the blind with never having raced in Europe before.

“I said going into this season that I wanted to make sure I was coming in at a level where I wouldn’t be playing catch-up like last year and so I’ve done my preseason a little differently.

“I’ve still included all the volume training and strength work I normally would, but I tried to throw in some intensity a few times a week so it wouldn’t feel so foreign.

“Last year in races I found I was always racing defensively because I wasn’t comfortable waiting for it to get hard so I would always burn my matches too early,” he said.

“The weekend was different. I used the first two laps of the race to watch for strong riders and parts of the course that always seemed to put pressure on the race.

“In the last lap with 20km to go there was a lull in the peloton and I made my attack and stayed away till the finish.”

Having enjoyed the ideal start to the season, Hopkins ― who will begin a 12-day training camp with his team mates from tomorrow – will be hopeful of building further on the foundations of his first victory in Spain.

As well as the prestigious Spanish Cup, which runs from February until May, and will, as always be his team’s top priority, it promises to be a busy campaign for the Bermudian rider with the Vuelta Independencia, Pan American Championships, Caribbean Championships and UCI Road World Championships all on his racing schedule.

He will also have one eye on representing the island at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England in July, having already met two of the three qualifying standards.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published January 18, 2022 at 7:58 am (Updated January 19, 2022 at 7:46 am)

Kaden Hopkins starts season in style with maiden Spanish victory

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon