British Under 23 Road Race Champion Chris Lawless has become Team Sky’s latest new addition for the 2018 season.
The 21 year old is another of cycling’s top under-23 talents and joins Team Sky hot on the heels of fellow Tour de L’Avenir stage winners Egan Bernal, Pavel Sivakov and Kristoffer Halvorsen.
Lawless’ victory on stage four of the most prestigious race in the U23 calendar was another high point in an already impressive season that has seen him win the ZLM Tour, in addition to podium finishes at both Velothon Wales and a highly selective British national championship road race.
Lawless will join the likes of Jon Dibben, Owain Doull and Tao Geoghegan Hart on a talented roster of young British riders. Doull and Geoghegan Hart, both former Under 23 National Road Race Champions (in 2015 and 2016), will both line up for Team Sky in Edinburgh for this year’s Tour of Britain alongside Geraint Thomas, Michal Kwiatkowski, Elia Viviani and Vasil Kiryienka.
Chris Lawless said: “One of my main reasons for joining Team Sky is that I feel it’s going to be the best place for me to develop as a rider.
“I’ve had a good 2017 so far. The overall win at the ZLM Tour and the stage win at Tour de L’Avenir were both really big wins for me. I was happy with the way I won them. It’s not how I usually win races. I attacked instead of waiting for the sprint which I think showed I can do more than just finish quickly.
“The other highlight was obviously the British Nationals and winning the under 23 jersey. I was happy to be able to compete with the other WorldTour guys there and I was still able to attack and show my pace at the end.
“I want to improve in every area. I’m hoping to become a more all-round bike rider and Team Sky is going to be the best place for me to do that. I’m really looking forward to getting started with Team Sky”.
Team Sky’s Rod Ellingworth pointed to Lawless’ potential as a key reason for his signing.
“We first saw Chris a couple of years back and he is someone we’ve been keeping an eye on.
“He’s had some good results this year and obviously he just won a stage at the Tour de L’Avenir so he’s in good company there.
“He put in a really good ride at the nationals earlier in the year, not just in terms of the result but also in the way he rode. He’s strong and fast, and he attacked it from the gun which was impressive.
“He’s a British talent with lots of potential, and he has the capability and capacity to learn and develop with us.”