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Kaden Hopkins hails Tour of Guadeloupe stage victory

Breakthrough performance: Kaden Hopkins

Kaden Hopkins reached another career milestone after securing his biggest win with professional team Vendee U competing in the Tour of Guadeloupe on Sunday.

The Bermudian cyclist won the second of the ten-stage race to move into fourth in general classification.

Hopkins pipped team-mate Lucas Boniface and rival Loic Laviolette in a sprint to the finish to lead the field of 125 riders across the line.

The 23-year-old was confident heading into the 161-kilometre race having helped team-mate Boniface to a second-place finish in the official opening stage 24 hours earlier, in which he settled for a fifteenth-place finish.

“We were confident after yesterday’s [Saturday] stage that we are a very strong team in this year’s race,” said Hopkins, who got the race series under way by finishing fifth in the prologue time-trial on Friday.

“We had a plan to try to control the race today [Sunday] and get Lucas or Baptiste Vadic in a position to contest the sprint.

“There was a breakaway in which we pulled back but then found that a rider on the race leader’s team [Project Echelon Racing] had gone off the front of the break and was two and a half minutes ahead.

“We had looked closely at the course and with about 25 kilometres to go there was a spot that we knew would be subject to a cross wind, so as we turned onto the point we went to the front all together and drilled the pace and split the field open.

“We pulled back the breakaway rider with about 16 kilometres to go and just controlled the race.

“I was planning to lead out either Lucas or Baptiste for the sprint but as we made the last turn it got a bit messy and Lucas lost my wheel.

“Another rider started his sprint really early, so I responded and he started to fade.

“Lucas was a few bike lengths back so I went for it and won the sprint.”

Building on that performance, Hopkins battled his way to 22nd place in the third stage, a 158-kilometre ride from Trois-Rivières to Baillif on Monday, finishing slightly more than 12 minutes adrift of race winner Alexandre Kess, who crossed the line in 12hrs 14 mins 59sec.

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Published August 08, 2023 at 7:58 am (Updated August 08, 2023 at 7:58 am)

Kaden Hopkins hails Tour of Guadeloupe stage victory

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