The 22-year-old takes advantage of a split in the bunch on stage three of the Italian race

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Team Sky‘s Chris Lawless took his first professional win on Saturday at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali, sprinting ahead of Paolo Toto (Sangemini-MG.Kvis) and Lorenzo Rota (Bardiani-CSF) from a reduced field.

The 171km course looked ideal for the 22-year-old to try his luck at giving Sky their second victory of the race, having taken victory on the stage 1b team time trial, with a pan flat circuit to Crevalcore in store for the riders.

A split in the field towards the finish of the race saw a reduced bunch move ahead, and Lawless was able to despatch the other fast men in that group to bring home the victory.

His team-mate Diego Rosa maintains the overall lead of the race with a final time trial on Sunday, having finished second to Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) on the uphill finish of stage two. Italian Rosa and Mollema were able to finish safely in the front group with Rosa maintaining the overall lead by seven seconds.

Earlier in the stage a seven man breakaway group, containing Remy Di Gregorio (Delko Marseille), Michal Paluta (CCC), Dimitri Peyskens (WB Aqua Protect), Peter Williams (One Pro Cycling), Christofer Jurado (Trevigiani), Marco Coledan and Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Triestina – Selle Italia), got up the road and took a maximum advantage of 2-30.

Team Sky did much of the pace making to keep the breakers in touch, reeling them in with around 35km to go before the main field split.

The 2018 Settimana Coppi e Bartali will conclude on Sunday with a short and flat 12.5km time trial from Fiorano Modenese  to Montegibbio.

Result

Settimana Coppi e Bartali 2018, stage three: Crevalcore  –  Crevalcore  (171k)

1 Christopher Lawless (GBr) Team Sky, in 3-47-53
2 Paolo Toto (Ita) Sangemini-MG.Kvis
3 Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF
4 Emils Liepins (Lat) One Pro Cycling
5 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team
6 Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
7 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
8 Alex Turrin (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
9 Nicola Bagioli (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
10 Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky, all same time

General classification after stage three

1 Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky, in 9-52-46
2 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, at 7s
3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar, at 38s