Britain’s Chris Lawless leaves Ineos Grenadiers to join Total Direct Energie  

Lawless will be the only Brit on the French-dominated team

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Britain’s Chris Lawless will be leaving Ineos Grenadiers after three seasons to join Total Direct Energie. 

The 25-year-old pro will join the French ProTeam to become the only British rider on the squad, which is dominated mostly by French riders. 

Lawless, a former Axeon Hagens Berman and Team Wiggins rider, has taken some impressive results since joining Ineos in 2018, including the overall at the Tour de Yorkshire in 2019 and consecutive third-place finishes in Scheldeprijs. 

He said: “I can't wait to join my new team! It's a bit of a leap into the unknown because I've always been on English-speaking teams with team-mates that I knew well. 

“I can't wait to take on these new challenges and see what this team can do for me. I want to improve even more on the Classics. I felt this year that I had taken a step forward and that I was able to run even more in these races.

“Alongside Niki Terpstra , I will be able to learn even more and always go further. I don't know exactly what my role will be yet, but I know that I have a lot to learn from the experience of other riders. I think I will have the opportunity to get even more victories on my own.”

Total had made some major signings for 2021, including Pierre Latour, Alexandres Geniez, Cristian Rodríguez and Victor de la Parte, who will join the likes of Niki Terpsta and Niccolo Bonifazio. 

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Team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau, said: “The recruitment of Chris is a real big deal in this transfer window. He's a talented runner, with a strong character and a great state of mind. He appreciated our offensive speech and wants to be able to express himself in a team that gives him the possibility. 

“For Total Direct Energie, it is a real achievement to attract a rider like him: the winner of the last Tour of Yorkshire, British, and from the Ineos Grenadiers team, we have something to be proud of! We have great ambitions for 2021. ”  

This great ambition is also shown as the team announced, shortly after announcing the signing of Lawless, that they had also signed Norwegian star, Edvald Boasson Hagen from NTT Pro Cycling.

The former Norwegian national champion joins as he looks for more victories in the Tour de France and the Classics saying "I can't wait to join the team and meet them all at the training camps. Hope we have a normal season this year."

Boasson Hagen is the last of eight signing made by the Total Direct Energie squad for the 2021 season with Bernaudeau adding "I think we can stop there, right?"

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