Chris Lawless becomes the first Brit to win the Tour de Yorkshire

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Running from the 2nd to the 5th May 2019, the fifth annual Tour de Yorkshire has seen its first British winner of the race overall. Chris Lawless (23) from Wigan won the race by a margin of just two seconds over the 2018 winner Greg Van Avermaet.

Van Avermaet won the last of four stages, crossing the line just ahead of Lawless as the two sprinted to be crowned victor on the day and overall in Leeds after 175km of riding that day.

Lawless proved his worth and crossed the line to secure overall victory

Lawless, who started the day in overall first place brought, Team Ineos their first win in the event, after having been announced as the replacement for Team Sky in the last week. This a team that he only joined a year beforehand in time for the 2018 Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali, where Diego Rosa won the Overall Classification for Sky. Lawless also picked up a stage win on the event.

The Tour de Yorkshire was the team’s fourth Overall Victory in UCI tour events this season. The team has been famed over the past few years for dominating the Tour de France and the Grand Tour in general.

150km into the final stage between Halifax and Leeds, Ineos teammate, and Road Captain, Chris Froome led an attack to catch the original break of three from earlier in the race. Froome then disrupted the pace of the pack, to allow Lawless to catch and remain on the heals of Van Avermaet who had started the day just six points ahead of the Brit.

Flawless, known as a sprinter not a hill climber, stayed with the Belgian right until the end, following the five categorised climbs of the stage, which Lawless seemed to struggle with.

Despite this, Lawless proved his worth and crossed the line to secure overall victory. Following the race he spoke to ITV4 saying: “if someone had told me I’d win this race before it started I’d have called them a liar”.

Clearly Lawless has sealed his place in the growing legacy of the Tour. A race born from the Tour de France which began in Yorkshire back in 2014. The now four-stage men’s race attracts crowds across the county on the May Day bank holiday, meaning that Lawless was cheered all the way and across the line of the final stage.

Image: Sue Jackson via Flickr

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