Thomas effectively seals 1st Tour de France title

Jul 30, 2018, 00:35
Thomas effectively seals 1st Tour de France title

"Now, up here, being in the yellow jersey in front of all of you (the crowd) is just. wow".

With a 1 min, 51 second advantage over Dumoulin, and teammate Chris Froome set to finish on the third step of the podium, Thomas was to be celebrated as the first Welsh victor of the Tour, and the man who has made it six wins from the past seven editions for a rampant Team Sky.

His eventual victory had been a mere formality after Saturday's individual time trial stage which left him with a one minute 51 second advantage over second-placed Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands.

"Thomas was the absolute strongest over the last three weeks", said Dumoulin.

"He's been a massive part of my Tour de France victories over the years".

Thomas rolled over the line seconds later, smiling and joking with four-time and defending champion Chris Froome. "I'm very, very happy".

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Philippe Wojazer / Reuters Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas of Britain celebrates his overall victory on the podium with a Welsh flag. Still, he was first at the two checkpoints before slowing in the final kilometres.

"I feel all right for now", Thomas explained. "I'm going to have a burger and certainly a beer or two but I will save the real celebrations for Paris on Sunday night".

"We're a small nation and we really get behind anyone who's successful", Thomas said. "When I crossed the line and realised I'd won there is just so many emotions", he said. "And that's what I did".

At the finish, Thomas let out a loud scream and held his arms out wide in celebration.

Emyr is the uncle of Geraint's wife Sara Elen, who travelled to France yesterday to congratulate her husband at the conclusion of the penultimate stage, which all but confirmed his Tour de France triumph.

Mr Thomas will become the first ever Welshman to win the Tour and the third Briton to do so, after Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.

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Stage victor Dumoulin said: "It's an incredible day". "It's just to wait for somebody to make a mistake". He was never put into trouble by anyone in the mountains, or on any stage, also not by me.

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

Thomas finished third in the stage, 14 seconds behind.

Pundits agreed that the 21-year-old Egan Bernal, who produced some unbelievable work in the mountains for his leaders on his Tour debut, would probably soon win the race.

"It was a insane morning", Dumoulin said.

It's no luck that Geraint Thomas has enjoyed such huge success at this year's Tour de France. "When it came to the last mountain-top finish in the Pyrenees, when Froomey was dropped, it was just about stamping my authority on it".

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And after a six-man breakaway was reeled in late on, the sprinters' teams in the peloton upped the pace to chase down a last-ditch attempt by Belgian champion Yves Lampaert, of Quick Step.

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