In what shapes as one of the best generations of Australian cycling talent coming, Hamilton is arguably the one with the most potential, a fact he underlined at the recent Tour de Alsace.
With climbs like the Planche des Belles Filles and Mont Blanc on the menu, it was always going to be one for the climbers and Hamilton produced a superb showing to take out the General Classification (GC), the Mountains jersey and the Youth classification. Michelton-Scott also took out the teams classification, with strong performances from Jai Hindley, ninth on GC and Michael Storer, 15th.
Hamilton had been in second overall after a hard day's racing to the summit of La Planche des Belles Filles, a stage finish at the most recent edition of the Tour de France, and was able to overtake Markus Hoelgaard (Team Joker Icopal) on Stage 3 to assume the overall lead.
“It was a really hard five days of racing,” said Hamilton after securing his overall win with a safe finish on Stage 5. “Firstly, I have to thank the team who have been amazing throughout.
"The way they took the race to the competition was spectacular and we knew that Saturday’s stage in the mountains wasn’t suited to everyone and the guys rode hard from the start to put pressure on.”
The result continues what has been a superb year for the development squad, who have taken podium finishes at many of the one day races on the calendar as well as crucial stage races like the Baby Giro and the mountainous Vallee d'Aosta.
“We controlled the race very well and once we moved into the race lead our performance was faultless, we communicated really well and raced as a unit. I’m so happy to have been able to pull off the win, I’ve had a lot of second places this year so to be able to finish it off and climb on to the top step of the podium is wonderful.”
Michelton-Scott Sports Director James Victor was quick to praise the strength and race smarts of his team following the result.
“You dream about this kind of situation,” explained Victor. “And having a team strong enough and capable enough of pulling it off and the result is a real testament to the hard work the boys have been putting in. Lucas wasn’t even supposed to be doing this race after crashing out of Aosta, but he asked to come in to get more race days and he really performed well.”
“The rest of the team did a great job, both Michael and Jai had strong results of their own and once we moved into the race lead everyone rode intelligently and protected Lucas and the jersey.
“After the team's performance on Saturday, riding hard from kilometre five and taking the race to the competition you could see that the whole field was suffering and nobody wanted to chase any of the moves down and that played perfectly into our favour.
The Tour l'Avenir is the most important race for any aspiring riders looking to secure contracts to ride in the WorldTour. It starts on August 18 and with current form, the young Australians will go in with a strong chance at taking the overall victory, which would be a first in Australian history.
“Lucas has grown into a very strong leader," said Victor, "and he dealt well with the pressures of the leader's jersey and communicated strongly with the team on the road. The boys have grown in stature and confidence and we can carry that into our next big objective at the Tour de l’Avenir in a couple of weeks time.”