Representing Bermuda at the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong, NSW, Australia, Kaden Hopkins announced his presence with a creditable 13th place finish in the U23 Individual Time Trial.
Finishing 1.30 behind the pre-race favourite, Norway’s Soren Waerenskjokd, Hopkins, who added to a strong performance in the recent Commonwealth Games, where he finished 11th, was able to execute the technical and demanding 16.8-kilometre loop, twice around Wollongong’s city centre, (a total distance of 34.2 kilometres) according to his plan. Once again, all riders finishing ahead of him are contracted with professional cycling teams.
“I didn’t want to put any expectations on myself, my focus was to go out there and perform to the level I know I am capable of’ said Hopkins.
Hopkins grabbed the attention of the television commentators when he clocked the third fasted time at the second intermediate timing point and then crossed the finish line with the second fastest time, which put him in the ‘hot seat’ (top 3 podium). After a few more finishers, he was dropped to third and held this position for over an hour as rider after rider finished behind him before eventually placing 13th in the world-class field and just one minute off fourth place.
Hopkins will next race on Thursday, September 22, in the U23 Men’s Road Race which will be ten laps of the Wollongong city circuit, a total distance of 169.8km and a total elevation gain of 2520m. This is one of the biggest opportunities that U23 riders have to show themselves globally.
Hopkins commented, “The road race is bound to be chaos as usual in these events, but my focus will be to avoid it by being positioned as well as I can throughout the race.”
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