Twelve months on from his WorldTour debut at the 2016 Tour Down Under with the UniSA-Australia wild card team, Chris Hamilton is a fully fledged professional wearing the black, white, and red kit of Team Sunweb.
Having chased a personal result at the 2016 Tour Down Under, finishing 14th overall, 21-year-old Hamilton is riding in support of Dutchman Wilco Kelderman. Explaining to Cyclingnews that at Sunweb, "It is very clear that everyone is in it together and work very well", Hamilton has quickly adapted to his new surrounds and is eager to ensure success in his first race with the team.
"It is a bit of a new experience for me, first race with the team, second WorldTour race ever but I have settled into the team quite well, which is quite easy to do with such an easy going group of guys," Hamilton told Cyclingnews. "I am quite aware I still have a lot to learn, still a few things I need to be working on but so far so good."
On the Queen stage to Paracombe earlier in the week, Kelderman hit out early in a bid for success. While he could not match stage winner and now race leader Richie Porte (BMC Racing), Kelderman starts the key Willunga Hill stage in 13th place, tied on the same time as Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) in sixth.
With 29 seconds to make up on Porte, overall victory would be a tough task, but Hamilton refuses to accept it's a done deal the Tasmanian will claim a sixth career general classification victory.
"Wilco is feeling good and happy with where he is. I think we are quite confident in him. He has shown he has good form and is up there and ready to challenge the top guys. My form, I am happy with where I am at, and to be up there on GC is not really my focus at all. It's just to do whatever we can for Wilco," said Hamilton.
"I think all going well, Richie will be hard to beat. We have seen for three years that he has won on Willunga already so I think he will be hard to beat. We are halfway there, anything could happen so you can't rule chances out.”