Hopkins sets sights on national crown

  • On a roll: Kaden Hopkins has won three successive races

(Photograph by Greg Hopkins)

Kaden Hopkins is determined to maintain his dominance of local cycling as he prepares to defend his National Championship crown.

The 20-year-old continued his perfect start to the shortened cycling season after winning his third successive time-trial race.

Having won the VT Construction Individual Time-Trial and the Bermuda Rouleurs Cycle Club Individual Time-Trial in recent weeks, Hopkins made it three from three with victory in the Winners Edge Individual Time-Trial last weekend.

Having been restricted to clocking up the miles on Bermuda’s roads during the past few months during the Covid-19 crisis, Hopkins is revelling being back in competitive action as he continues preparations for the Time-Trial National Championships, pencilled in for next month.

“I’ve been delighted with my form,” he said. “It’s great to be back competing in any capacity after training for so long without having anything to really target for.

“They are not huge race events in the grand scheme of things, but it’s been so important for me mentally more than anything else.

“Waking up and knowing you’re preparing for a race day is a huge motivation rather than just training hard.

“My focus right now is the National Championships. I don’t think there have been many other local races organised, so it’s all about getting my head down and getting in the best possible shape for that.”

As well as clocking up victories, being back on island has also proved a welcome break from the United States for Hopkins, where he based at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, who conceded he may be forced to skip a semester in September because of the continual climb in cases of Covid-19.

“Everything is still up in the air at the moment, particularly with the things are in the United States,” he added.

“Obviously, I don’t think anyone could have seen it coming with what has happened with the pandemic. I love being out at school, but I’m not prepared to risk my health.

“It might be a case of me skipping a semester in September and not going back. It’s not ideal but it doesn’t faze me because I can always go and do it again at another time.

“There is also the issue of travelling at the moment and if we are going to be competing abroad then there is the problem of having to quarantine each time, logistically it would be a nightmare.”