Thomas set to win Tour as fading Froome drops down to fourth

Thomas set to win Tour as fading Froome drops down to fourth

Thomas set to win Tour as fading Froome drops down to fourth

Geraint Thomas produced a near flawless performance to become the third British and Team Sky rider to triumph after Bradley Wiggins (2012) and Chris Froome (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017).

Thomas' nearest challenger Tom Dumoulin claimed victory in the time trial, crossing the line 14 seconds quicker than the Welshman in a time of 40min 52sec.

The Welsh rider was the steadiest rider from the start, the strongest in the Alps and the Pyrenees.

"He was never put into trouble by anyone in the mountains, or on any stage, also not by me", said Dumoulin.

Geraint Thomas was still struggling to take in his achievement after wrapping up his first Tour de France victory on Sunday in Paris.

Riders traditionally do not attack during the final stage, meaning Thomas will be given free reign to complete the stage and clinch the Tour de France title for the first time in his career.

With his title, Thomas joins rugby's Sam Warburton and football's Gareth Bale in the Welsh sports half of fame as all three of them were educated at Whitchurch high school.

"It was my dream to win a stage, now I've won two and I've got the polka dot jersey on my shoulders".

No longer merely a support rider for Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas is going to Paris in the yellow jersey.

Victory is the sixth time a Team Sky rider has prevailed in the last seven years and comes after a dominant display from a man who had so often supported teammates in a domestique role at previous grand tour events.

"It has been a great race - if we look at all our individual riders they are awesome", Thomas, who won two mountain stages including one up the iconic Alpe d'Huez climb, told a news conference.

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.

Though he had led Froome by more than a minute and a half after his victory on stage 12 to Alpe d'Huez, Thomas revealed he was only fully handed the leadership of the team after the four-time victor faltered on stage 17 to fall even further back just days before Paris. Brailsford is confident he will remain a Sky rider, while Ellingworth insists Thomas's "mental abilities" and love for bike racing will spur him to continue. He just enjoys life.

"It's incredible and it's a dream come true".

"I know people won't believe it, but it was only on Friday night that I started to think about it", he said Saturday (via the Guardian).

"I only have respect for him". Normally that stage is really hard but today I just seemed to float around.

Thomas had a lead of one minute 51 seconds going into Sunday's final and mostly processional leg that ended on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

In Froome, Thomas saw innocence, fierce determination and huge talent. "The bad thing about TUEs at the moment is that if you've had a TUE, that's seen as a negative thing - but it's not".

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