By James Diamond |
Great Britain’s Geraint Thomas was confirmed as the Tour de France winner after crossing the finish line in Paris, as Alexander Kristoff won the final stage.
The Welsh Team Sky rider only needed to finish in the French capital with the leader not challenged on the last stage.
Riders from Britain have now won six Tour de France titles in the past seven years.
Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first to win the Grand Tour in 2012, before Chris Froome won the title four times in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Norway’s Kristoff timed his sprint on the Champs-Elysees to perfection to surge past Yves Lampaert from Belgium and then hold off John Degenkolb from Germany and Frenchman Arnaud Dernare.
“That’s a dream coming true, I’ve been close before but never managed to beat the faster guys like Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel,” said the UAE Team Emirates rider.
“They are not here today, they are out after the mountains and I managed to win.”
The final standings has Thomas top, having finished the Tour in 83 hours, 17mins and 13secs, 1:51 in front ahead of Dutchman Tom Dumoulin from Team Sunweb and 2:24 in front of team-mate Froome in third.
“When I rode the Champs Elysees for the first time in 2007 that was insane just to finish the race and just to be a part of it,” Thomas said afterwards.
“To now to be riding round winning it is just incredible.
“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’ll sink in.
“It’s incredible, the stuff of dreams.”
Prior to the start of the Tour de France Froome was the favorite, having won the last three in succession, plus the Vuelta a Espana in September and the Giro d’Italia in May.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.