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Kaden Hopkins plays vital support role as new team grabs glory

Encouraging start: Kaden Hopkins played a vital supporting role to help new team Vendée U clinch individual and collective success in the Circuit de I’Essor race series

Kaden Hopkins got off to an encouraging start to life riding for Vendée U when helping the French team to clinch team classification victory in the Circuit de I’Essor.

Competing in his first races since signing a one-year deal in October with the development squad for one of the top European teams, TotalEnergies, the 22-year-old played a vital supporting role to help the team to clinch individual and collective success.

In the opening race of the weekend, a challenging 117.2-kilometre course, Hopkins’ team had five riders placed within a breakaway of 17 competitors, only for Baptiste Veistroffer, of VCP Loudéac, to ultimately prevail ahead of Vendée U rider Baptiste Vadic, in a winning time of 2hr 36min 30sec, having made a decisive move with 20 kilometres to go.

Hopkins finished in 89th place, just over a minute adrift of the race winner, in 2:37:40, the same time as his team-mate in second.

However, a day later on the 110-kilometre course, team tactics worked perfectly, Vendée U again attacked aggressively from the front, with Vadic making a pivotal move one kilometre from the finish to claim victory ahead of team mate Lucas Boniface in a time of 2:26:20.

Having played another astute supporting role, Hopkins finished in 144th in the final classification.

“We are very pleased with this first race [weekend],” said Hervé Arcade, Team Director of Vendée U. “The new team members understood our philosophy very well, fitted into the team very well and followed the race instructions well.

“Baptitste Vadic took first place and we were the first team. Our boys helped win the sprint from the peloton after a big effort. This has been very rewarding.”

Hopkins and Vendée U will be aiming to build on those performances on Saturday in the first round of the Plages Vendéennes race series in Challans, which is located in the Pays de la Loire region in western France.

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Published February 08, 2023 at 7:45 am (Updated February 08, 2023 at 7:45 am)

Kaden Hopkins plays vital support role as new team grabs glory

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