Ararat cycling phenom Lucas Hamilton has been earmarked as Mitchelton-Scott's next general classification leader, after signing with the Australian team until the end of 2022.
Hamilton has scrapped his existing contact for a new, extended deal after a year where he showcased the ability that has seen him considered as one of the country's brightest talents.
The 24-year-old earned his first World Tour victory on stage four of the Tirreno-Adriatico this year while helping teammate Simon Yates to the overall title.
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Following his excellent year, and the departure of team leader Adam Yates, Hamilton will now become one of Mitchelton-Scott's main men over the next two seasons.
"I'm really happy to be extending with this team, it really instils a lot of confidence in me that I can extend before my contract is up and means I can just focus on the job at hand," Hamilton said.
"I always really enjoyed racing with Adam and learned a lot from the way he races. It's sad to see him go, but I think it does open some doors for me to take on more leadership roles and really try for bigger results in bigger races.
"I think the sport this year has shown that guys around my age and younger are starting to be the winners more often than not and it does give me a lot of motivation."
Since turning professional in 2018, Hamilton has steadily worked his way through the Mitchelton-Scott ranks.
Hamilton's maiden Grand Tour start would come in 2019, finishing fourth in a stage of the Giro d'Italia and ending the three-week race as highest-ranked Australian in the general classification, in 25th.
The Ararat export attacked the 2020 Giro with the same intent, sitting at the highest-ranked Mitchelton-Scott rider and the second-highest Australian before his team withdrew from the event following a COVID-19 outbreak in its bio-secure bubble.
Mitchelton-Scott head sport director Matt White had high praise for the ever-improving Hamilton.
"We've seen a really steady progression in Lucas' development and we see a big future with Lucas as a leader in this team," he said.
"From the limited Grand Tour experiences he has, he is definitely a guy that has the potential and is going to lead us in the three-week race, and with Adam (Yates) leaving the team there is going to be even more opportunities for him."
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