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

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

Geraint Thomas is set to win Tour de France after protecting his yellow jersey on Saturday's stage 20 time trial from Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle to Espelette.

Cycling - Tour de France - 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, in the peloton.

Team Sky began the race not only with Thomas and four-time champion Froome, but also 21-year-old Colombian Egan Bernal, who thwarted most of their rivals' attacks in the mountains, former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski and former Liege-Bastogne-Liege victor Wout Poels.

I felt good and started putting the power down but then took every corner super slow.

"It's a dream come true", Kristoff said. The former three-time world champion did not disappoint, winning three stages in total and - after seeing a slew of rivals like Cavendish, Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel fail to get past the mountain stages - battling through a tough four days in the Pyrenees, where he crashed, to seal the jersey.

"After a hard day yesterday I did not think it was possible", Froome said.

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

"The way he did get the gap was a little surprising. but I didn't actually see it myself". He was suspended by Sky for six weeks and had to attend a diversity awareness course following the 2017 Tour de Romandie after racially abusing Kevin Reza from the Française des Jeux team. The decision was supported and accepted by Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford, who also apologised to Team Fortuneo-Samsic and Gesbert, describing the incident as "unacceptable".

"Nico [Portal, Team Sky sports director] told me to relax, take it easy and just make sure I won the Tour". He rode in the 2013 Tour with a broken pelvis, saying it was "the worst pain I've ever experienced on a bike". "Tomorrow it will be a crucial time trial I will try everything", said Roglic.

Thomas, who now has another major honour to accompany his pair of Olympic gold medals on his mantlepiece, won the eleventh and twelfth stages in the Alps while continually picking up advantages elsewhere to accumulate a final time of 83 hours, 17 minutes and 13 seconds.

"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. It was stressful. I believed I could beat the guys here.

Many spectators along the Champs-Elysees held their arms high to record the riders on their smart phones as they went past on the cobblestones, and there were more cheers when 11 jets flew overhead leaving trails in the blue, white and red colors of the French flag. He lost just 38 seconds to stay sixth overall but struggled on a climb on stage 19, losing more than 22 minutes to drop down the standings. "I think this has been the most emotional of all our victories".

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