Geraint Thomas wins Tour de France

30 July, 2018, 03:30 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • Chris Froome was looking to win a record-equalling fifth Tour title

Geraint Thomas is set to be crowned the third British victor of the Tour de France in seven years as he produced another superb performance during the penultimate stage today.

But the day belonged to Thomas, of Team Sky, who finished the race in Paris with a near two-minute lead on Dutch rival Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) to secure his first yellow jersey.

Defending champion Chris Froome is also out of contention for the overall victory but leapfrogged Slovenian Primož Roglič, the victor of yesterday's final mountain stage, into third on the general classification standings after he crossed the line today in second.

In second overall was Dumoulin at 1m 51s, with Froome at 2m 24s, an order unchanged by the final and 21st stage - 116km from Houilles to the Champs Elysées - won by Norwegian Alexender Kristof (UAE-Team Emirates) from German John Degenkolb (Trek-Segefredo) and Frenchman Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ).

"Thomas was in the yellow when we left Wales but we didn't know if he was going to keep it". But Froome crashed in the first stage and lost time, then cracked in the Pyrenees while Thomas's tremendous form was rewarded with impressive wins in the Alps.

Thomas always had "the engine", as his 2008 and 2012 Olympic team pursuit gold medals proved, but he looked more poised to win one-day races than a grand tour.

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The Welshman's triumph is the sixth by a British rider since 2012 and saw him beat his team-mate and compatriot Chris Froome, the victor of four of the past five instalments of the three-week stage race.

"It makes me really proud and I'm glad to be a part of that".

The significance of Chris Froome's short excursion in to a field less than six kilometres from the finish of the opening stage was not immediately apparent - and certainly did nothing to change Team Sky's insistence that he remained the team leader. I'm really knackered, " Thomas said.

It was Dumoulin's second career stage win in the Tour, having also won a time trial in 2016.

But he added: "Tonight, I won't celebrate too much".

"It's mental, whenever anyone says it, I've just got to pinch myself its going to take a while to sink in", said the 32-year-old.

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"If someone told me, after such a hard Giro, that I'd win a stage at the Tour and finish second, I'd have signed. The last time I cried is when I got married". Not this time. From that point he rode the most brilliant Tour, tactically astute but also sensitive to Froome's situation.

Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford was particularly pleased for Thomas, a rider he had known since his junior days.

Thomas' official race time was 83 hours 17 minutes and 13 seconds. "When he was with me full-time, we lived in Manchester or in Italy".

"To win on Alpe d'Huez in the yellow jersey".

While before him Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, or even Chris Froome were not hugely popular in the peloton, Thomas is one of the nice guys of the bunch. It was the biggest stage of all over three weeks.

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