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Van Avermaet claims stage 4

Lawless gave Team Ineos the overall victory after staying on Van Avermaet’s wheel till the finish line, and thus protecting his six-second lead over the Belgian.

“I got dropped on the Chevin climb, and Doull did a big shift to get me back to the main group,” Lawless admitted. “I knew that Greg was going to go. I was ready for it. On a climb like that I’ve got that length of effort and I had a chance of staying with him. It’s the deepest I’ve ever dug. If I had to pick out a point that was the race winning effort.”

Van Avermaet had a disappointing Spring classics campaign, and finishing second in the Tour de Yorkshire must come as some consolation before the mid-season break.

“Tactically-wise I don’t think there was more that we could do today,” Van Avermaet said. “I’m quite happy with the stage win and second in the overall, it’s also something. I bridged to Dunbar and Lawless was the only guy that could follow me on the climb and for me there was nothing else to do but win the stage.”

General classification

1. Chris Lawless (Team Ineos) – 15:18:12
2. Greg Van Avermaet (CCC) + 2s
3. Eddie Dunbar (Team Ineos) + 11s
4. Alexander Kamp (Riwal Readynez) + 15s
5. James Shaw (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling) + 25s
6. Matthew Holmes (Madison Genesis)
7. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data)
8. Scott Thwaites (Vitus Pro Cycling) + 28s
9. Connor Swift (Madison Genesis)
10. Nick van der Lijke (Roompot-Charles)

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