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Kaden Hopkins suffers setback after major crash in latest Spanish Cup outing

Difficult outing: Kaden Hopkins was involved in a crash, which ultimately ended his race in the third round of the Elite-23 Spanish Cup

Kaden Hopkins endured a difficult outing in the third round of the Elite-23 Spanish Cup after being involved in a major crash.

Having got his campaign off with a highly respectable seventeenth-place finish in the opening race, the 21-year-old – who missed the second round – was aiming to build on momentum in Ontur, a township of Albacete.

After an encouraging start to the race, Hopkins and his Equipo Essax team-mates were battling hard for position near the front when disaster struck as the Bermudian rider was powerless to avoid a major crash in front of him.

Despite, the high speed collision and being sent over his handlebars, Hopkins somehow regained composure and set about trying to get himself back into contention with the main pack.

However, despite his best efforts, valiantly chasing hard for 45 kilometres, Hopkins was ultimately forced to retire from the race, in which 72 of the 175 entrants failed to cross the line of the 172-kilometre course.

Francisco Muñoz, of the Eolo-Kometa team, went on to claim victory, ahead of Andoni López, who pipped Alejandro Gómiz in a sprint to the line. Andrea Pietrobon, who finished in fourth place, took over the lead in the overall classification standings.

“It just ended up being a day of bad luck,” said Hopkins. “Going into the race I felt great. My training has been going well and I was really looking for a good result.

“There was a point in the race where we turned off a two lane highway into a narrow road. Lots of teams were fighting for position and my team-mates and I were well-placed near the front.

“Unfortunately there was a touch of wheels and five riders in the front went down. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to avoid it. We were going about 60 kmph and there was no room to go anywhere so I just tried to drop as much speed as possible.

“I was sent over my handlebars and about half the peloton went down behind me also. After making sure I didn’t have any serious injuries I got back on and a group of about 20 of us started chasing to get back in.

“After about 45km I still wasn’t in the main group and the adrenalin of the crash had worn off. I called it a day after that.”

Despite requiring stitches to his hand and bruising on his arms and back, Hopkins confirmed he has already turned his attention to preparing for the next round of the prestigious event in Torredonjimeno this weekend.

“Luckily it wasn’t too bad overall, I had to get my hand stitched closed after the race but luckily no broken bones,” he added. “I definitely dodged a bullet considering how fast we were going and how many riders went down.

“The only other injuries I suffered were some bad bruising down my arm and back but once I have healed a bit I should be good. I’ll take a few days and hope to be good to race again this weekend.”

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Published March 23, 2022 at 7:22 am (Updated March 23, 2022 at 7:22 am)

Kaden Hopkins suffers setback after major crash in latest Spanish Cup outing

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