ARARAT star Lucas Hamilton has "the money off his back" and is excited for another premier European cycling event beginning early next month.
Hamilton won his first WorldTour stage at the Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy and finished 32nd overall at the event, which finished early on Tuesday morning.
His win came in stage four, as the 24-year-old powered through the Italian mountains and attacked on a high-speed descent.
"It's my first WorldTour win so I am super happy," Hamilton said after the 194km stage.
"I just hung on over that final climb and ... when we got back on, I saw my own opportunity and with the speed and momentum we had I was able to get away."
Hamilton took the lead late in a two-man leading pack race alongside Fausto Masnada.
Hamilton then dug deep to power away from the Italian in the final stretch.
"On paper, Masnada is probably faster than me so I was a bit worried about that," he said.
"I tried to make him do the last 500 metres or so and that worked in my favour in the end."
Hamilton's dad, Bruce, said it was the biggest win of his young career.
"He'd had a lot of podium finishes, but no stage wins yet. So to get the monkey off his back was really nice," Bruce said.
"It wasn't just the win either, but the way he got it. It was a monster day really, and he did the last 10k on his own, which is never easy.
"It's a real confidence booster for him and it couldn't have come at a better time."
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Hamilton's riding across the week-long event also provided a major boost to Mitchelton-SCOTT teammate Simon Yates, who was the overall winner.
Mitchelton-SCOTT finished fourth overall in the team classification.
Hamilton now has a tough decision to make ahead of the Giro d'Italia in early October.
Hamilton was selected for the UCI Road World Championships scheduled for Thursday, September 24, but Bruce said after a draining Tirreno-Adriatico, he was considering giving the event a miss.
"I think he might have decided to dedicate himself to the Giro, because he's hoping to play a major role there," Bruce said.
"While it's a terrific event, it would throw a spanner in the preparation, given that they want to have a red hot go at the Giro this year."
Bruce said Lucas was still finding his best form after a difficult isolation period he spent in the small, southern European country of Andorra.
"The iso was difficult, with not many people around him and him literally needing a permit to leave his house," Bruce said.
"He's still climbing into some form. He finished really strongly in the Giro last year, and the further it went the better he got, so he will only benefit from the riding."
Lucas finished 25th at the event last year, which included a tremendous fourth-placed finish in one of the stages.
"As far as his goals go, he will be supporting Simon Yates 100 per cent," Bruce said.
"He did a really good job for Simon last year, and finished pretty nicely in the standings himself."
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