A HUGE year on the saddle looms for Ballarat Clarendon College’s Lucas Hamilton, with the Ararat-born rider setting his sights on a stint in the Australian junior men’s squad for September’s World Road Championships.
Hamilton’s perfect summer of cycling continued last Sunday with a win in the under-19 men’s road race at the Oceania Road Championships, following on from his victory in the prestigious Australian Madison Championship in late-January.
The 18-year-old needs to perform well in each of the five selection rounds to be looked at for national honours, and he couldn’t have started his campaign any better than winning the opening round at Toowoomba’s Oceania titles.
“You always hope that you go well in the big races but it’s still surprising to get the win,” Hamilton said.
“The Madison was especially a surprise – given that it was my first national track appearance – but the Oceania was something I’d had my sights on for a while.
“I didn’t really want to do the Madison at first because I was just coming off the nationals, but it was great for improving my fitness going into the road season.”
Hamilton, a climber by specialty, believes that his time on the track this year has drastically improved his ability to time trial, but his bid for a top-10 finish in the Oceania time trial was dashed by a mechanical failure before he rebounded with a superb ride in the road race.
A six-man split off the front of the peloton gave him a huge advantage in the 110-kilometre leg, and he was eventually able to out-sprint Queensland’s James Thompson for the honours in the two-man
Hamilton will contest the Bendigo Madison next week before taking a five-week break to prepare for the Australian squad’s second selection round at Mt Buffalo.