Hamilton takes a step closer to pink with time trial victory in the Baby GiroTue 13 Jun 2017
Young Australian climber Lucas Hamilton took a step closer to the leader's jersey of the Giro Ciclistico d’Italia today by showcasing his time trial ability and taking the win on stage 5b in Campocavallo.
This is the first official European race for UCI Contintental team Mitchelton-SCOTT and with a squad packed full of Australian U23 talent the team have produced some consistent performances over the last few days to stay in contact in the general classification with two more days to race.
These performances culminated in Hamilton’s dominance in today’s 14kilometre individual time trial after teammate Robert Stannard placed third on this morning's 87kilometre road race stage the 21-year-old crossed the line in sixth and recovered sufficiently to take the win in the afternoon.
“To be honest I wasn’t sure about how I was going to go this afternoon,” said Hamilton. “I haven’t done a time trial for a while and my main objective was to not lose much time to the specialists. In the end it was a pretty good ride and I’m really happy to have gotten the win, the course suited me and my style and we’re in a good position now.”
“This morning's stage was quite tough and we really had to be on our toes and make sure we were well positioned throughout, but the boys rode very well and kept myself and Jai Hindley well protected and delivered us nicely onto the final climb before Rob attacked to take third.
“We have a great team here and the hardest two days are still to come, tomorrow the climbs are short and constant and for sure it will be a GC day whereas the final stage has longer climbs and will be equally as tough.”
Mitchelton-SCOTT are in a great position with Hamilton now lying second on the general classification 14seconds behind the Russian leader Pavel Sivakov (BMC-Development-Team)) and Hindley not much further back in fourth place at 26seconds.
The situation certainly sets up a dramatic final two days of racing and sport director James Victor praised the work ethic and preparation of the team in getting to this stage.
“It has been a great few days of solid riding by the team,” said Victor. “Both Harry Sweeny and Jai produced good efforts in the time trial, but it was a really top ride by Lucas. There were some disappointments yesterday after getting caught up by in a couple if crashes and not finishing where we wanted to, the boys really pulled it back today.”
“There are two days of racing left and they are easily the hardest stages in the race. We have taken good time out of the GC and we are now in striking distance of the race leader and will need to race intelligently. It is easy to get carried away at this level U23 riders always want to race hard everyday and we need to stay mindful of our preparation and stay calm.
“Lucas and Jai have both trained hard at altitude in the mountains for this race and in our phases of preparation and planning we were really attentive about how much training the boys needed and now we are starting to see the fruits of that labour.”
Tomorrow’s penultimate stage starts in Francavilla al Mare on the Adriatic coast and covers 133kilometres over rolling roads inland to Casalincontrada. Thursday marks the final day of racing with another stage start in Francavilla al Mare and a mountainous148.9kilometres inland towards L’Aquila and summit finish on the historic Campo Imperatore.
Giro Ciclistico d’Italia stage 5b results:
1. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 00:17:45
2. Scott Davies (Team-Wiggins) +0:06
3. Senne Leysen (Lotto-Soudal) +0:06
General Classification after stage 5b:
1. Pavel Sivakov (BMC-Development-Team) 16:05:48
2. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:14
3. Scott Davies (Team-Wiggins) +0:24
4. Jai Hndley (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:26
Photo courtesy of the Giro d'Italia U23.