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Welsh rider Geraint Thomas wins his 1st Tour de France title

Welsh rider Geraint Thomas wins his 1st Tour de France title

Thomas was just three seconds off yellow after Team Sky finished the team time trial second to BMC, whose Greg Van Avermaet took the race lead.

"We're a small nation and we really get behind anyone who's successful", said Thomas after Saturday's race, the penultimate stage time trial where he was surprised by his wife Sara.

Philippe Wojazer / Reuters Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas of Britain celebrates his overall victory on the podium with a Welsh flag.

Tour de France victor Great Britain's Geraint Thomas celebrates on the podium after the 21st and last stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race in Paris, July 29, 2018. But he at least salvaged a podium finish after dropping to fourth overall following Friday's last mountain stage.

"It was my dream to win a stage, now I've won two and I've got the polka dot jersey on my shoulders".

A former teammate of Thomas's and Froome's at Barloworld, when the Welshman was "maybe 10 kilogrammes heavier", Impey has seen him develop from an Olympic gold medal-winning pursuit specialist into a consistently strong performer on the road.

But with his clothing sponsor based just across the Spanish border in San Sebastian, an emergency call was placed and they whipped him up a new set of the world champion's rainbow stripes in time. "Respect to him for that because it must have been hard having a team-mate getting the plaudits and wearing the [yellow] jersey sat on the bus next to him".

Although it has given Sky chief Dave Brailsford a likely selection headache for next year, he was full of praise for Thomas. I'm certainly going to enjoy this.

Geraint Thomas is the first Welshman to win the Tour de France
Geraint Thomas is the first Welshman to win the Tour de France

Thomas takes an advantage of 2 minutes, 5 seconds over Dutch rival Tom Dumoulin into Saturday's (Saturday night NZT) 31km individual time trial in the Basque Country.

Froome never recovered from that opening-day tumble, but Thomas said he was always waiting for the Alps to settle the leadership question.

"After a hard day yesterday I did not think it was possible", Froome said. "I can't believe it", he told reporters today.

David Gaudu, Silvan Dillier, Taylor Phinney, Nils Politt, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Michael Schar formed a breakaway group with 46 kilometers (28.6 miles) left and remained 15-40 seconds ahead of the peloton until the final two laps of the Champs-Elysees when a counterattack led by Julian Alaphilippe of Quick-Step Floors began to reel them in.

It took several laps of the inner-city circuit around the Champs-Elysees for the race to kick into action.

On the contrary, many Australians will feel happy for Thomas, who is well known to the domestic Australian cycling scene.

"I think we'll have some beers, and burgers tonight, but that's it".

Thomas produced a near flawless performance to become the third British and Team Sky rider to triumph after Bradley Wiggins (2012) and Chris Froome (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017).




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