• Lucas Hamilton on the attack in the Tour Down Under that initially brought him to the world's attention (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Young Australian climber Lucas Hamilton will make the jump to the top level of professional cycling with Orica-Scott in 2018 after impressing while racing with the development arm of the GreenEDGE set up, Mitchelton-SCOTT.
Cycling Central

16 Sep 2017 - 7:46 AM  UPDATED 16 Sep 2017 - 7:51 AM

A superb season for Hamilton in the Under 23 ranks has been capped off with the announcement that he will ply his trade on the biggest stage in cycling, the World Tour.

The Ararat-born Hamilton will join the team on a three-year contract, tying him to the Australian outfit until the end of the 2020 season.

Hamilton started the year by placing third in the under 23 road race at the national championships before going on to win the Under 23 Road Race at the Oceania championships, also finishing ahead of the Elite Men's first-placed finisher.

Lucas Hamilton's career trajectory tilts upward
For Lucas Hamilton, life is always about climbing. Climbing over obstacles, towards his goals and of course, literal mountains.

That was the start of a purple patch for Hamilton, where he took four podiums in a row in hard one-day races, followed by a victory in the individual time trial at the Baby Giro d’Italia and the overall win at the Tour de Alsace along with a host of second places in the European one-day races.

Hamilton is regarded as one of the best climbers of his peers, quite a feat in what looks to be a golden generation of Australian talent, with namesake Chris Hamilton (Team Sunweb), Ben O'Connor (Dimension Data) already in the World Tour and Michelton-Scott teammates Jai Hindley and Michael Storer (both Team Sunweb) signing contracts for next season.

“I am really looking forward to joining such a fantastic team like Orica-Scott next year,” said Hamilton. “It has always been a dream of mine to join the WorldTour and I couldn’t be happier to be making that step up with an Australian team.”

“It is exciting to think about continuing my development as a rider and being in a position to learn off the older guys on the team with the success that they have achieved and the experience that brings. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Lucas Hamilton continues superb season with Tour of Alsace win
Lucas Hamilton (Michelton-Scott) showed again why he is regarded as one of Australia's brightest talents, winning the mountainous Tour de Alsace on the weekend.

A noted climber and time-triallist, who finished fourth at the Tour de l'Avenir - the race of the future - Hamilton is a rider with a bright future and Orica-Scott sports director Matt White spoke of the excitement at seeing a rider like Hamilton come through the ranks.

“Lucas is a credit to our development team,” said White. “They’ve produced an incredible amount of talent over the years – before it was a lot of track riders coming through the program, but the last couple of years it has produced guys like Robert Power and Jack Haig.”

Lucas Hamilton mixes it with the big boys of the peloton
The UniSA team always has different ambitions going into each edition of the Tour Down Under, with almost an entirely different squad of riders taking it up to World Tour opposition and Lucas Hamilton is one of those riders.

“Lucas is the cream of the crop at U23 level and obviously it is exciting for us to have a guy like that come through our feeder team. We’ve seen the results he has had on the road this year and it’s going to be exciting to see him on board the professional team.

“He is a big talent. Where that talent will take him is our big challenge and responsibility to give him the right pathway through to the next level of professional cycling.”

Hamilton will join a team already built towards obtaining general classification results and whilst it may be too much to expect him to make a big splash on the World Tour immediately, he will be one to watch very closely for the future.