Chris Lawless wrapped up the Motorpoint Grand Prix Series in spectacular style, at the weekend, leading home a JLT Condor one-two at the Leicester Castle Classic.
The recently crowned National Criterium Champion, Chris Lawless added the Motorpoint Series title to his palmares this season, the 20 year-old took home the orange leaders jerseys after leading the competition for five of the six races in the series.
How the race unfolded
The race started with 92 riders leaving the start line for this 80km race and gaps started to form in the peloton early on. The pace of this contest was high from the start.
There was plenty of action at the front of the peloton with Steve Williams of JLT Condor gaining a small advantage before riders bridged across to him.
Harrison Jones (Pedal Heaven), Dante Carpenter (Richardsons-Trek RT) and Seb Mora (Raleigh GAC) then took off with Tobyn Horton (Madison Genesis) and Rory Townsend (Pedal Heaven) bridging across later on. The breakaway had just a 7.5 second advantage on the peloton.
A crash brought down Ali Slater and Steve Williams. Slater broke his teeth and neither rider was able to continue in the event.
The peloton was brought back together and at this stage it was Pedal Heaven who were dictating the pace at the head of the race.
After 50km of racing the main bunch had splintered with a front group made up of around 15 riders.
Russ Downing set the pace and led the peloton. Wanting to see Lawless crowned champion, Team JLT Condor put the pressure on to bring back all attacks and as the race entered the final 5km the peloton was all back together.
Downing and Chris Lawless then hit the front and their attack was timed to perfection. It saw Lawless put in prime position to take the win from team mate Russ Downing and Pedal Heaven’s Alex Paton.
Speaking after the race, Lawless said: “I was in the break at first and the guys weren’t too keen on working with me.
“But I knew we had a strong group of riders in the chasing group so I just sat on and tried to cover the attacks. I sat up and I was confident the team could bring it back and when the team did bring it back, it was a really good chase by them.
“I was trying to get Russ over the line because he’s based this season around working for me so I wanted to repay him today.”
“But I had a bit of a complication on the last corner and I just gapped him and ended up taking the win, I was looking over my shoulder for him but I didn’t want to back off too much. I was trying to defend the jersey but he got second.”
“It’s really big for the team, especially with the TV coverage, it gets the name out there. I’ve got race in France then it’s on to the Tour of Britain so hopefully I’ll get good prep for that and see how I go there.”
20 August – Leicester Castle Classic
Eurosport 1 – 5:15pm