Promising Australian climber Lucas Hamilton has joined Orica-Scott on a three-year deal. The 21-year-old has impressed in the U23 ranks this season with second at the Baby Giro, fourth at the Tour de l'Avenir, and victory at Tour Alsace.
"I am really looking forward to joining such a fantastic team like Orica-Scott next year. It has always been a dream of mine to join the WorldTour and I couldn't be happier to be making that step up with an Australian team," said Hamilton.
"It is exciting to think about continuing my development as a rider and being in a position to learn off the older guys on the team with the success that they have achieved and the experience that brings. I can't wait to see what the future holds."
Hamilton follows in the footsteps of Rob Power and Jack Haig as U23 GC riders to sign for Orica-Scott and represents the team's long terms investment in young riders. While Orica-Scott has built its Grand Tour squad around Esteban Chaves, and Adam and Simon Yates, Power, Haig and Hamilton are the next riders in line.
Orica-Scott sports director Matt White expressed his delight in securing Hamilton on a long term contract, adding the Oceania champion is a welcome addition to the squad.
"Lucas is a credit to our development team. They've produced an incredible amount of talent over the years – before it was a lot of track riders coming through the program, but the last couple of years it has produced guys like Robert Power and Jack Haig," White said.
"Lucas is the cream of the crop at U23 level and obviously it is exciting for us to have a guy like that come through our feeder team. We've seen the results he has had on the road this year and it's going to be exciting to see him on board the professional team. He is a big talent. Where that talent will take him is our big challenge and responsibility to give him the right pathway through to the next level of professional cycling."
Along with Hamilton, Orica-Scott has also added Mikel Nieve (Team Sky), Cameron Meyer, Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors), and Jack Bauer (Quick-Step Floors) to its squad from 2018.
Hamilton was due to race the World Championships in the U23 road race next week but has withdrawn due to injury.