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Kaden Hopkins helps French team seal further success

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Collective success: Vendee U riders, including Kaden Hopkins, (third right) celebrate Baptist Vadic’s race victory
Playing his part: Kaden Hopkins, centre, helps push the pace during the160-kilometre Manche Atlantique road race

Kaden Hopkins feels he put in his “best-ever performance” as he played a pivotal role in helping his Vendée U team-mate, Baptiste Vadic, to clinch victory in the Manche Atlantique road race.

Again being deployed in a support role, the 22-year-old followed team instructions perfectly as he rode to protect Vadic and Antoine Huby over the fast 160-kilometre course.

Those tactics ultimately paid dividends as Vadic held off the challenge of Antoine Devanne, of Team LMP-La Roche Vendée, to take the honours, with VCP Loudéac rider Killian Verschuren completing the podium places.

After playing a vital support role, Hopkins finished in 20th position, with team-mates Huby, Nicola Marcerou and Lucas Grolier all inside the top ten, finishing seventh, eighth and ninth respectively.

Hopkins, who came into the race on the back of a12-day training block in Alicante, Spain, could not hide his delight as he hailed both his performance and that of the team.

“Despite putting in a lot of hours in the saddle [during the training block], I felt amazing,” he said.

“I was covering a lot of moves with my team-mates all day and felt in control the whole time.

“I honestly feel this was one of my best-ever performances and for us to take the win made it all worthwhile.”

The victory held even greater significance for the team, who had targeted the race in honour of former team rider 23-year-old Romaine Guyot. He won the race in 2016 before being killed days later in collision with a truck while riding.

“This was a great team performance,” Hopkins said.

“I know how much this race means to Vendée U and the entire team and I was so happy that Baptiste [Vadic] got the win and that I played my part.”

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Published March 08, 2023 at 7:54 am (Updated March 08, 2023 at 7:54 am)

Kaden Hopkins helps French team seal further success

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