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

He finished with an advantage of almost two minutes over his nearest rival, Tom Dumoulin, in a performance built on constant pressure, taking small chunks of time out of the Dutchman on seven separate stages, resisting a flurry of attacks in the mountains before retaliating with assaults of his own.

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But the spotlight was firmly on Thomas, so long in the shadows of teammates past and present, Bradley Wiggins, the first British victor of the famous race in 2012, then Froome.

“The only thing I can focus on in the time trial is myself”, added Roglic.

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

It is the sixth British and Team Sky victory in the past seven years.

“[Team Sky sporting director] Nico Portal was on the radio and told me to make sure I win the Tour, don’t risk anything. I crossed the line and just saw her there, it made it [emotions] even worse really”.

Bikers drink champagne during the 21st and last stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Houilles and Paris Champs-Elysees, July 29, 2018.

Thomas finished third in the 20th stage, 14 seconds behind, but that was more than enough to protect the lead of more than two minutes he had at the start of the day.

‘When I rode the race for the first time 12 years ago it was insane just to finish the race and to be part of it, ‘ he told ITV.

“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.

Politicians and city leaders say talks are underway about how to officially celebrate Geraint Thomas’s historic Tour de France win.

Froome was at his side…

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.

“When I had a wobble on that corner I thought, “chill out a bit”, said Thomas.

While Dumoulin is the time trial world champion, Thomas is quite capable in the discipline and acknowledged he should be able to protect his advantage.

Thomas and the peloton will complete the arduous, three-week race with a 72-mile ride that ends on the Champs Élysées. “I’ve been close many times before but never managed to beat the faster guys like (Mark) Cavendish, (Andre) Greipel, or (Marcel) Kittel, but today they’re not here, they’re out after the mountains, and today I was the fastest, so I’m super happy”.

Rhyl Cycling Club secretary Jon Harland said: “Not many sportsmen train harder and longer to get their selves in shape for a shot at the top prize in their chosen sport”.

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Frenchman Pierre Latour will finish 13th overall and will clinch the white jersey for the best Under-25 rider.

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