Former Ballarat Clarendon College student Lucas Hamilton has earned a last-minute ticket to Tokyo after being called up as a replacement for the Australian cycling team that will compete at the Olympic Games.
The 25-year-old will take Cameron Meyer's place after the national champion withdrew to stay home with his family after his father was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer.
Hamilton is currently riding in the Tour de France and sat seventh in the young rider classification heading into stage 11 overnight on Wednesday (AEST).
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The Ararat native will represent Australia in the men's road race alongside Richie Porte and Jack Haig.
Hamilton's father, Bruce, was thrilled by the news.
"I think it's literally as soon as the Tour de France finishes he'll go there, so I believe the race does suit him," Mr Hamilton said.
Hamilton was 53rd in the general classification heading into stage 11, just over an hour behind race leader Tadej Pogacar.
Bruce Hamilton, watching from Ararat, felt Lucas had been impacted by a virus that forced him to withdraw from last month's Tour de Suisse.
"He was going not too bad, but his first couple of days, we thought it'd take him a little while to ride into the race. That can happen sometimes, especially if you've been training hard," Mr Hamilton said.
"But I think what he's realised now, when he was doing the Tour de Suisse they caught this virus and then they couldn't finish the race. I think that took a lot more out of him than what he imagined.
"He hasn't been able to regain the form he had prior to the Tour, so now he's basically looking for any opportunities that might come his way. He's certainly not riding for the general classification anymore."
"He's riding a lot more defensively, (I'm) just hoping that he can stick it out to the finish."
Hamilton faces a short turnaround between the two prestigious events.
The Tour concludes at the Champs-Élysées on July 18, with the men's road race in Toyko scheduled for July 25.
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