Lawless third at Scheldeprijs

11 Apr 2018

Lawless third at Scheldeprijs

Chris Lawless sprinted to a strong third place at Scheldeprijs as Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Floors) came out on top in an eventful race in Belgium.

In the final metres, Lawless opened the sprint with 250m to go, but was forced wide around Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) which allowed Jakobsen and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) to edge past him.   

It represents Lawless’ best result in Belgium to date and continues his good recent form after winning a stage of Coppi e Bartali last week.

Earlier, Owain Doull had threatened to spoil the sprinters’ day with an opportunistic attack on a reduced peloton with Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ) only to be foiled late on. 

An earlier incident with riders not slowing at a train crossing had seen a large number disqualified by the race jury, including Christian Knees and Ian Stannard, meaning several teams had reduced resources to bring the duo to heel. 

The pair attacked with 40km to go and were able to stay away until the final lap of the finishing circuit, only to be caught by the Katusha Alpecin-led peloton to setup the sprint finish. 

Overall, Lawless was pleased with his performance in challenging conditions, and was thankful for his teammates for their support. 
He said: “It was pretty hard all day because of the course and it was always going to be pretty tough because of the wind.”

“It’s always got potential to split up. We had to be switched on all day. The finish circuits here are really twisty and you need to be at the front. 

“It wasn’t too bad as it was such a small group coming into the finishing circuit which made it a bit easier, a bit more relaxed - but when the rain started coming down it was just something else to just add to a difficult finish circuit. 

"The tactics today was to go for me, but as I’m a neo pro you couldn’t completely rely on me so the lads were allowed a bit of free reign as Doull showed with his good move at the end. 

“But the lads right at the end really helped me.”
Chris Lawless

Chris Lawless

“I’ve got a bit of a break now and will aim to come back even stronger.
After a crash at the Handzame Classic last month, Lawless joked that staying upright was his main goal, but was delighted to finish strongly at Scheldeprijs.

“It’s good to stay upright for a race in Belgium, after a couple of crashes earlier in the season, and I managed to finish it off!” he laughed. 

“If someone had told me I was going to get a podium in Scheldeprijs in my first year before I’d started [the season] I would have been happy with that and I thought it would be difficult to get a win this year too.

“I’ve got a bit of a break now and will aim to come back even stronger.”