Kaden Hopkins secures second podium display to continue solid start
Kaden Hopkins secured his second podium finish of the season competing in the Vinalopó Interclub competition in Yelca, Spain on Saturday.
The 21-year-old placed third among a field of more than 200 riders, completing the 95.8 kilometre course in 2 hr 5 mins 25 seconds.
Aitor Escobar, of Gsport, pipped Hopkins’s Equipo Essax team-mate Oscar Moscardo for the win, on the uphill climb to the finish.
Hopkins is competing in the series as preparation for upcoming main events, such as the prestigious Spanish Cup, in his second season with the Spanish team.
His latest podium finish follows close on the heels of victory in the Interclubs Castalla Road Race in Alicante, on January 15.
On that occasion, he broke away from the pack on one of the climbs with 20km to go, and protected his lead the rest of the way, to build on the momentum of his silver medal-winning display at the Junior Pan Games in Colombia last month.
His winning time of 1 hr 44 mins 52 sec, saw him finish 25 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Angel Llorett. Antonio Soriano completed the podium places, a further six seconds adrift.
Hopkins was granted a new one-year contract late last month, as reward for an encouraging first campaign with his Essax’s elite under-23 team of the Sax Cycling Club last year.
The talented rider has his work cut out in a busy schedule this year, that will also see him compete in the Vuelta Independencia, Pan American Championships, Caribbean Championships and UCI Road World Championships, in addition to the Spanish Cup, which runs from February until May.
He also has his sights set on representing the island at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England in July, having already met two of the three qualifying standards.