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The Mitchelton-Scott team announced today that it was promoting Australian Lucas Hamilton to a leadership role in the grand tours and has hence, scrapped his existing contract for a new and extended one.
The new deal, which will see the 24-year-old continue with the Australian squad until the end of 2022, follows the guarantee by team owner Gerry Ryan to an additional two years of commitment after the COVID-19 difficulties earlier in the season.
Although Hamilton is still breaking in at the WorldTour level, he was considered one of the best U23 riders of his generation. And since turning professional in 2018, he has worked his way up within the Australian team. And this year, before the COVID clampdown, he won a stage in the prestigious Tirreno-Adriatico race while helping his teammate Simon Yates pocket the overall title.
And now, with the departure of current leader Adam Yates, the team has opted to focus on its own up-and-coming talent rather than trying to replace the British standout with another rider on the market.
“I’m really happy to be extending with this team, it really instills a lot of confidence in me that I can extend before my contract is up and means I can just focus on the job at hand,” Hamilton said. “I always really enjoyed racing with Adam and learned a lot from the way he races. It’s sad to see him go but I think it does open some doors for me to take on more leadership roles and really try for bigger results in bigger races. I think the sport this year has shown that guys around my age and younger are starting to be the winners more often than not and it does give me a lot of motivation.”
“We’ve seen a really steady progression in Lucas’ development and we see a big future with Lucas as a leader in this team,” head sport director Matt White added. “From the limited grand tour experiences he has, he is definitely a guy that has the potential and is going to lead us in the three-week race, and with Adam (Yates) leaving the team there is going to be even more opportunities for him.”