Former Ballarat and Clarendon College student Lucas Hamilton has established himself as one of the country’s most promising young cyclists by finishing second in the final stage of the prestigious Tour de l'Avenir in France.
The 20-year-old finished the stage nine seconds behind American Neilson Powless, with the Ararat cyclist claiming the king of the mountain jersey.
Hamilton is the first Australian to claim any jersey at the race which is considered a breeding ground for future Tour de France riders.
Successful riders from the event have previously gone on to feature in some of the world’s most well-known teams including Orica-BikeExchange.
Hamilton finished four points clear of his nearest rival in the mountain stages after an impressive run on the Col de la Croix-de-Fer, a climb which is used in the world’s most high-profile race.
The result was made all the more impressive for Hamilton after the youngster was forced to overcome sickness to finish the race.
Earlier in the tour Hamilton lost 20 minutes due to illness, but managed to rebound to earn the climbing honour.
Hamilton’s individual achievements capped off a successful race for the Jayco-AIS World Tour Academy team, which is made up of some of Australia’s most promising young cyclists.
The team which is comprised of first year riders took out the teams category for the eight-stage event, another first for Australia.
Hamilton’s strong showing in France comes on the back of some impressive performances on home soil, including a second-place finish in the national under-23 road title in Buninyong in January, where he was edged out by Bendigo namesake Chris Hamilton.
He also turned heads at high-profile events such as the Tour Down Under in South Australia as well as the National Capital Tour and the Tour of Tasmania.
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