Hamilton's luck holds for Olympic debut

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Lucas Hamilton's Olympic debut nearly lasted about 48 hours.

His addition to the Australian men's road cycling team was confirmed on July 7, but on two days later he crashed out of stage 13 in the Tour de France with a dislocated shoulder.

The original four-rider team had already lost Hamilton's friend Cameron Meyer, who pulled out because his father is gravely ill.

Then Jack Haig suffered a broken collarbone and concussion when he crashed in the Tour's third stage.

Like Haig, Hamilton was riding in his first Tour de France and also heading for his Olympics debut.

But in Hamilton's case, the Tour disaster did not cancel his ticket to Tokyo.

"Obviously, I would have liked to have left (the Tour) on better terms," Hamilton said.

"Luckily enough, the injury has healed up pretty quick.

"It was pretty stressful there for a few hours (after the crash), but after it all settled and I could get back out riding, I was confident I would be okay.

"Yeah, it was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for a couple of days."

Hamilton confesses to mixed emotions about his Games debut, given he has taken Meyer's berth.

"It's super-unfortunate that he couldn't come," he said.

"Cam's a mate of mine ... I hope everything goes well back at home."

But Hamilton is rapt to be in Tokyo, saying it was a "massive" 2021 target.

While Richie Porte will be Australia's main chance in the 234km road race on Saturday, Hamilton is also a rider to watch.

The 25-year-old Victorian is a massive young talent and the tough road race course will suit his climbing talents.

The race features a 14.3km climb part of the way up Mt Fuji and the steep Mikuni Pass, 30km from the finish.

"It's a super-hard course ... it's really tricky," Hamilton said.

"By the time we get to the steep final climb, it's going to be a pretty small group ... it's open for aggressive racing."

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