Tour de France -- Geraint Thomas wins yellow jersey in Paris

Geraint Thomas became the third brit to win the Tour de France today, joining Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome on the list of cyclists from these shores to achieve the feat.

The 32-year-old finished third on the penultimate time trial stage yesterday, behind victor Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), who pipped Froome by just one second to claim line honours with panache.

The Cardiff rider became the first Welshman to win the race when he crossed the finish line in Paris on Sunday.

Riders on the Champs Elysees as The Patrouille de France flies over the Arc de Triomphe during the 21st and final stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France in Paris, July 29, 2018.

In Froome, Thomas saw innocence, fierce determination and huge talent. "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".

Chris Froome was proud of Geraint Thomas' Tour de France win, but he has no intention of stepping back as he plans to extend his period of dominance.

The team's dominance in recent years and Froome's positive test for excessive levels of the asthma drug Salbutamol (before subsequently being cleared of any wrong-doing) fuelled the crowds' anger.

In an interview, he said: "I can't believe it".

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.

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

I felt good and started putting the power down but then took every corner super slow. "I dreamed about this victory for many years and I was close many times before but I didn't really manage to beat the faster guys like Greipel, Kittel and Cavendish".

A year after being thrown off the race for causing the crash that ended sprint rival Mark Cavendish's campaign, five-time victor Sagan returned to the Tour looking to equal Erik Zabel's record haul of six victories in the points competition.

Fans will be expecting Froome, a six-time Grand Tour champion, to overcome his 13-sec deficit to Roglic and secure a place in the top three.

"If someone told me, after such a hard Giro, that I'd win a stage at the Tour and finish second, I'd have signed".

"It's insane. I just don't know what to think".

This is the ninth Tour for the rider, who first rode it in 2007, when he finished 140th of 141 finishers.

It was his way of saying he was there to win and if that meant aggressively chasing the yellow jersey, he would do it.

The four-time champion was the main target of the jeers, with one spectator even slapping his shoulder in the climb up to l'Alpe d'Huez. According to Ellingworth, that victory ahead of two-time Tour de France victor Alberto Contador was a turning point.

That fourth place finish was enough to see Martin move up one place in the overall classification as he leap-frogged Nario Quintana into eighth place, 6:39 behind Thomas.

  • Stacy Allen