Hopkins aiming to build on momentum ahead of three-day race series
Kaden Hopkins is determined to build on the momentum of his strong start to the new season in Spain ahead of competing in the La Vuelta Guadelentine on Friday.
The 21-year-old heads into the three-day event fresh off the back of successive podium places, following up victory in the season opening Interclubs Castalla Road Race in Alicante, with an encouraging third-place finish in the Vinalopó Interclub competition in Yelca, on Saturday.
Those performances have given the Bermudian rider renewed confidence and belief ahead of the first big race of the campaign, which commences with a time-trial.
“I felt very in control of my effort the whole race so it was a very motivating feeling,” said Hopkins, who is in his second season with Equipo Essax, the elite under-23 team of the Sax Cycling Club.
“I am really motivated by the form I have right now and I am hoping to perform in the first big race of the season, La Vuelta Guadelentine, that starts on Friday.
“It is a three day race with a time-trial, punchy road stage and finishes with a mountain stage.”
Reflecting on his previous outing – in which he completed the 95.8 kilometre course in 2 hr 5 mins 25 seconds, finishing behind Aitor Escobar, of Gsport and Equipo Essax team-mate Oscar Moscardo – Hopkins was satisfied with his endeavours among a strong field of more than 200 riders.
“Going into the race there was 215 starters so I knew it was going to be very hectic because the race had lots of sections on very narrow roads that were not in great condition at points,” he added.
“I didn't want to risk any crashes so I worked hard to stay near the front the whole race.
“On one of the short climbs, after about 60km, there was an attack from four riders that I followed. I thought it might be the move that would stay away but after about 10 minutes the teams working in the group pulled us back in.
“After that my team-mate went in a counter move that stayed off the front into the last climb which had a serious pinch point at the start of it.
“I managed to get into the last climb in the front and followed an attack of another rider who I then distanced half way up the climb.
“Overall I was really happy with my race again,”