Australian speedster Jeff "Hoppy" Hopkins has returned to form after his crash in Athens, and will lead his Jittery Joe's team in its assault on Downer's Grove at the Pro-Am Challenge and US Pro Criterium Championships on Saturday and Sunday. The race will award the stars and stripes jersey to the highest placed American in Sunday's race, but with $20,000 on the line, the team may rely on Hopkins to bring home the bacon.
"While we may end up going to our American sprinter Evan Elken on Sunday, Jeff will be the man for the Saturday race for sure, " said Micah Rice, Team Manager, "Depending on how both of them are riding, we will make a decision after Saturday's race who to work for on Sunday at the Championship".
Hopkins, who crashed at the Athens Twilight in April and broke his wrist was back racing in June and showed that his speed is back when he took second to Ivan Dominguez at the Hanes Park NRC Criterium in North Carolina at the beginning of August. He took a solid top ten in the Elk Grove criterium last weekend as well.
The team will line up with a trio of Australian talent - Hopkins, Trent 'Willo' Wilson and Tommy Nankervis alongside the three Americans Evan Elken, Matt Shriver and Neil Shirley.