Former Ballarat Clarendon College student Lucas Hamilton has taken another step in his development, signing a deal with Orica Scott to ride on the World Tour from next year.
The three-year deal comes after a strong 12-month period where he won the king of the mountain classification at the 2016 Tour de l’Avenir along with the general, mountains and youth classifications at the 2017 Tour Alsace in July.
The 21-year-old has already competed in a handful of World Tour races including South Australia’s Tour Down Under in January.
Hamilton said it was an honour to join the team for the next three years.
“It is pretty special, this is the top of the sport as far as you can go professionally,” he said.
“It has always been a dream to reach that level and to do it with this team is amazing.”
The Ararat product is the third member of the 2017 Mitchelton Scott team to sign on to a World Tour team with Michael Storer and Jai Hindley set to ride with the Sunweb team.
Hamilton said it was a credit to the current team that so many of the riders were going on to greater things next year.
“We have had a really successful season, we have had 36 podiums out of 42 race days,” he said.
“But I think it is just that this team is a proven recipe for young Australians to step up into the World Tour.”
Hamilton will meet his new team at a training camp in Italy in October.
He said he has no expectations and will be using the first year to try and increase his knowledge as much as possible.
“I think I just want to go in and learn as much as possible in the first couple of years,’ he said.
“It is not the easiest step but having Orica Scott around me is the best possible way to take that step up.”
The 21-year-old will return to Australia at the end of the year to have a short break from training before the start of his first World Tour in January.
Earlier this year, Hamilton finished second in the MARS Cycling Australia Road National Championships under-23 men's criterium.
The renowned climber was rewarded for his aggressive ride with the sprinters' title jersey.
Hamilton is better known over the longer journeys on the road.
He knew his best chance of taking honours over the sprinters was being in a break away.
Hamilton was a silver medallist in the under-23 road race at last year's nationals.