Kaden Hopkins makes podium in prestigious Plages Vendéennes
Kaden Hopkins has achieved his first podium finish of the 2024 cycling season when finishing runner-up on the second stage of the Plages Vendeennes.
Hopkins, who had finished eighth on the opening stage the day previously, formed a three-man breakaway on the second stage, which took place over 170 kilometres between the towns of Montaigu and Vendée, the home of Hopkins’s cycling team Vendée U.
The young Bermudian had his work cut out in the attacking group, with the two other riders both competing for the same team in Paris-Olympic cycling.
Heading into the final kilometre the three riders had enough of a break on the peloton to be assured of fighting out the finish and it was left to Hopkins to do battle with Victor Papon, with the two going wheel-to-wheel before Papon just edged clear of Hopkins in the race for the line.
Hopkins was left to settle for the runner-up spot but finished in 3hr 59min 50sec, the same time as the winner, with a further two seconds back to Allan Villemin, who finished third. The peloton then crossed the line 20 seconds later.
It’s been a fantastic start to the season for Hopkins, who won the most combative rider award on the second stage of the 2024 Essor Basque last week. He now takes high rank in the overall classification on the Plages Vendeennes, with two stages left.
Hopkins now has a five-day break with stage three taking place on a loop around Beauvoir-sur-Mer on Saturday and the final stage taking place over 145.2km between St Gilles Croix de Vie and Pays de St Gilles.