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Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas becomes first Welshman to win Tour de France

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Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas has won the Tour de France, becoming the first Welshman – and third Briton – to triumph in the race.

Going into Sunday’s final and mostly processional leg, Thomas had a lead of one minute 51 seconds and he held onto this as the race finished on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

The 21st and final stage of the Tour was won by Norway’s Alexander Kristoff.

Overall, Team Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin finished in second place, with Froome a further 33 seconds behind in third place.

Thomas, 32, joins Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome as British winners of the prestigious sporting event, with the Team Sky trio claiming six of the last seven Tour titles.

The 116-km Stage 21 from Houilles to Paris Champs-Elysees - July 29, 2018 - Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, passes the Arc de Triomphe in the peloton
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Stage 21 brought the riders from Houilles to Paris Champs-Elysees

Thomas told Eurosport his win was “unbelievable”.

He added: “Normally that stage is really hard but today I just seemed to float around.

“There was goosebumps going around there.

“The support, the Welsh and the British flags, it’s unreal, it’s the Tour de France.

“To be riding around wearing [the yellow jersey], it’s the stuff of dreams.”

Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, celebrates as he finishes with teammate Chris Froome
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Thomas of Britain celebrates as he finishes with teammate Chris Froome

He added: “It won’t really sink in for a few months, it’s just a whirlwind now.

“I seem to be floating around on cloud nine.

“Maybe when I’m like 70, sat in a corner of a pub telling some 18-year-old what I used to be, it will sink in.”

:: How Geraint Thomas became a Tour de France winner

Great Britain's Geraint Thomas holds the Welsh flag
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Geraint Thomas had time up his sleeve as he entered the final stage

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford told Sky Sports News that the win had been “the most emotional of all our victories”.

He added: “Geraint, growing up in Wales, worked so hard for such a long time – he’s a classic ‘make the sacrifice, it’s worth it’ kind of guy.”



Geraint Thomas




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Geraint Thomas’s teacher: ‘He was very bright’

Thomas was not the pre-race favourite, nor was he the leader in his team, but he rode impressively for three weeks and pulled off two mountain wins.

Growing up on the outskirts of Cardiff, he started cycling seriously at the age of 10 and was noticed around three years later by Rod Ellingworth, performance director at Team Sky.

Ellingworth said: “You could see straightaway he was just flying round the track, he was pretty good.

“As he joined the junior program, you just knew he was going to be pretty talented.”

In 2006, Thomas was the youngest member of the British pursuit team at the world championships; he won the Olympic gold medal alongside Wiggins in 2008; and in 2012, with a second gold medal in the same event, Thomas left track cycling to focus on road racing.

Thomas lives with his wife in Monaco, where he also trains, but he often returns to Cardiff to see friends and family.

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