Hamilton steps up as leader for Jayco Herald Sun TourMon 28 Jan 2019
Fresh off a crucial support role for Tour Down Under champion Daryl Impey, 22-year-old Lucas Hamilton will be given the opportunity to step up as the leader for Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
The Australian, who captured the eyes of many on the Corkscrew and Willunga climbs in Adelaide, will battle some of the best climbers in the world, including Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Michael Woods (EF Education First), when racing gets underway on Wednesday.
- Sam Bewley (NZL, 31)
- Lucas Hamilton (AUS, 22)
- Damien Howson (AUS, 26)
- Nick Schultz (AUS, 24)
- Callum Scotson (AUS, 22)
- Dion Smith (NZL, 25)
- Robert Stannard (AUS, 20)
Starting and finishing with criterium-style stages in Phillip Island and Melbourne, the Jayco Herald Sun Tour has two stages that will be crucial to the general classification battle on days two and four.
The second stage to Churchill features a late climb, with gravel, before descending into the finish line, whilst the penultimate stage returns to the Mornington Peninsula for four ascents of Arthurs Seat, including the final climb to finish.
With the strongest field the race has seen in several years, the general classification battle will be hotly contested. World class climbers Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Michael Woods (EF Education First) will start as favourites, and will provide a good learning experience for Mitchelton-SCOTT’s young Australian leader in Hamilton.
Mitchelton-SCOTT has won four overall titles at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour since the team’s inception in 2012, including a top-three clean sweep last year. Former champion Damien Howson returns to the team line up and will be a crucial support rider for Hamilton.
“The Arthurs Seat and Churchill stages will be the key stages. Obviously with Arthurs Seat being a hill top and Churchill having a climb 12km from the finish, they will be the two most important stages, but I’ve ridden around this area a little bit and it can be quite windy, so I think even the in between stages can open up some aggressive racing if teams decide to race it that way.
“It’s the first time I have led this team at a Tour, it’s new for me at this level, so I’m looking forward to it.
“We will obviously give it everything for a result and I would love to get on the podium. The Sun Tour has a high quality field this year with Richie and Woodsy here. They will be the key guys and favourites, but I will give it my best and hopefully we can be up there.”
2019 Jayco Herald Sun Tour – Men:
Wednesday, 30 January – Phillip Island (97.9km)
Thursday, 31 January – Wonthaggi to Churchill (127km)
Friday, 1 February – Sale to Warragul (161.6km)
Saturday, 2 February – Cape Schanck to Arthurs Seat (112.9km)
Sunday, 3 February – Melbourne (89.1km)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.