Lucas Hamilton's case for a maiden Tour de France has become stronger, following a third WorldTour top ten finish of the season.
The former Ballarat Clarendon College student held his own in a star-studded peloton, clinching eighth in the general classification at the Tour de Romandie.
The names above him in the GC rankings speak of Hamilton's excellence, with former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas taking home ultimate honours, followed closely by former Australian champion Richie Porte.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"I'm pretty happy with where I'm at. I came into this race a little bit concerned after not going so well at Liege, and it took a while before we hit the mountains and we hit the mountains yesterday and to end up in the top ten; I'm pretty happy," Hamilton said.
Hamilton, an Ararat native, has thrived in a new leadership role for Team BikeExchange and was the Australian outfit's main man in the 10-stage event held in the alpine regions of western Switzerland.
"That's three WorldTour week-long races in the top-10 in a row now, so it shows that I'm able to progress as a GC rider," the 25-year-old said.
"All three of the week-long races I've done have been very different in their own right.
"To finish top ten in all of them shows consistency, and I'm on the path that I want to be on to pull off a big result.
"Top ten is not a win, so I'd like to bag something soon, but it's a good progression."
Hamilton has not been named in Team BikeExchange's lineup for this month's Giro d'Italia - an event he's performed well at the past two years in a support role.
Instead, he will likely be the team's general classification hope at the eight-stage Tour de Suisse in early July, with one eye on gaining a spot in the peloton at the Tour de France starting later that month.
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.