• Chris Hamilton fresh off his u23 win at the 2016 Mars Cycling Australia National Road Championships will race for Team UniSA-Australia at the TDU (Kathryn Watt)Source: Kathryn Watt
Current under 23 Australian Road Race Champion Chris Hamilton has inked a three-year deal with Giant-Alpecin and will join fellow Aussie Michael Matthews at the WorldTour team from 2017.
Cycling Central

26 Aug 2016 - 11:36 AM  UPDATED 26 Aug 2016 - 12:26 PM

Earlier this year, the 21-year-old turned down an offer to ride with the Jayco-AIS World Tour Academy team preferring to ride and train with the Andrew Christie-Johnston led Avanti IsoWhey outfit before trying to take the leap to the WorldTour. 

Choosing the World Tour Academy path would've ensured racing in Europe in the second half of this year and possibly create opportunities for a WorldTour offer. 

Chris Hamilton opts out of Jayco-AIS World Tour Academy
Under 23 national road race champion Chris Hamilton was considered a dead certainty for the World Tour Academy this season, but when the list was released last Wednesday, his name was absent.

The gamble paid off. Hamilton now joins the likes of Richie Porte and Nathan Haas as a Christie-Johnston WorldTour graduate. 

Hamilton will join another young signing, Lennard Hofstede (Netherlands) currently riding for the Rabobank Development Team. The 21-year-old rouleur style rider raced to third overall at the Tour of Bretagne this year with the Dutch squad. 

“We are very pleased to be signing both Chris and Lennard as we consider them to be very promising young riders with bright futures ahead of them, Giant-Alpecin coach Marc Reef said.  

"Chris is a talented climber who can target general classifications in the future.

"We will take it step-by-step, giving him the opportunity and space to develop. In that line he will race a broad program to also test himself across different type of races."

Under the tutelage of current coach Mark Fenner of FTP training, Hamilton raced to 14th overall at WorldTour race the Tour Down Under and won the best young rider classification at this year’s Herald Sun Tour. He also finished in the top 10 overall at the Tour of Taiwan. 

As a former MTB rider, "Hammo" will also no doubt provide plenty of "former MTB rider" fodder for WorldTour TV commentators.