The seven-stage race in northern France began on Monday with a 6.4km prologue in Carentan. JLT, Madison-Genesis and Raleigh-GAC are all racing.
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Lawless, 20, had a strong domestic year riding for Team Wiggins in 2015, winning the GP of Wales, Stockton Town Centre Race and the Barrow round of the Tour Series.
The Wigan-born rider, who also raced at the Ghent and London Six Day events in the autumn, won the first stage of this year’s New Zealand Cycle Classic, a UCI 2.2 race – the same classification as Normandy – and it is that type of race that will propel him to teams of a greater stature.
“Chris should be targeting a stage win for sure, no question. Stage wins are well within his grasp and if the opportunity arises then we’ll certainly back him,” John Herety, JLT’s manager, said.
“Every time Chris gets a platform to do well, he needs to. If riders want to move on, they’ve got to win races like the Tour of Normandy.
Watch: Show us your scars – Chris Lawless
“Should riders win a stage here, or get a podium overall like Alex Peters [second] did last year, added to another good UCI performance over the course of the year, then Pro-Conti teams will look at them.”
The race concludes in Caen on Sunday, March 27.