Rising British star Chris Lawless signs for Team Sky - Road Cycling UK

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Rising British star Chris Lawless signs for Team Sky

British under-23 champion becomes sixth new signing confirmed for 2018

British under-23 champion Chris Lawless will ride for Team Sky next season, after being confirmed as the latest high-profile young rider to join the team.

Lawless, a Tour de l’Avenir stage winner last month, is part of a quartet of riders to have signed for Sky after impressing in the race – overall winner Egan Arley Bernal, King of the Mountains Pavel Sivakov and points classification winner Kristoffer Halvorsen have also signed.

Having spent this season with Axel Merckx’s talent factory, Axeon-Hagens Berman, he becomes the third British rider, after Alex Dowsett and Tao Geoghegan Hart, to graduate from the young American team to Team Sky.

And Lawless hopes the move to Team Sky will improve his all-round racing ability, having previously admitted to RCUK he would love to win a cobbled Classic.

British under-23 champion Chris Lawless will ride for Team Sky in 2018 (Pic: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

“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,” he said.

“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.”

– Next big thing: Chris Lawless talks to RCUK –

Lawless is the sixth new signing confirmed by Team Sky for next year, with Spanish duo David de la Cruz and Jonathan Castroviejo also set to join from QuickStep Floors and Movistar respectively.

With Ian Stannard having signed a new contract too, there are eight British riders currently on the Team Sky roster for 2018: Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe, Owain Doull, Jonathan Dibben, Geoghegan Hart, Stannard and Lawless.

Coach Rod Ellingworth said of the latest 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.”

Lawless follows Tao Geoghegan Hart in joining Team Sky from Axeon-Hagens Berman (Pic: Davey Wilson)

Lawless will now ride the Tour of Britain for the Great Britain national team, with the race starting on Sunday (September 3) in Edinburgh.

Team Sky’s team for the race features Doull, Thomas, Geoghegan Hart, Michal Kwiatkowski, Elia Viviani and Vasil Kiryienka.

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