Thomas praises team work as he stands on brink of Tour title

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas celebrates in Paris

His victory will also deliver a sixth Tour de France crown from the past seven events for Team Sky following Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and Froome in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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. Thomas said afterward. "I can't speak".

As the Tour de France champion-in-waiting, Geraint Thomas may only have celebrated his impending triumph with a "burger" and "a few beers" before Sunday's traditional victory parade around Paris.

Geraint Thomas has officially become the victor of the Tour de France.

Thomas finished third in the stage, 14 seconds behind.

"Kids, just dream big".

The final stage is usually a festive affair, and Thomas was seen celebrating with fellow Sky teammates early in the stage as he soaked up becoming the first Welsh yellow jersey victor.

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. When an on-form Thomas won back-to-back stages in the Alps, winning on Alpe d'Huez in the yellow jersey, Team Sky were handed a dilemma.

But with his clothing sponsor based just across the Spanish border in San Sebastian, an emergency call was placed and they whipped him up a new set of the world champion's rainbow stripes in time.

Although it has given Sky chief Dave Brailsford a likely selection headache for next year, he was full of praise for Thomas.

Team Sky celebrate at the end of the Tour de France
FRANCOIS MORI AP Team Sky celebrate at the end of the Tour de France

He joined the fledgling Team Sky in 2010 and was given a freer rein in one-day races but has mainly been used as a domestique - a rider who sacrifices his own chances in the service of a team leader - for Froome in each of his four Tour victories, and before this year his best finish had been 15th, twice.

And after a six-man breakaway was reeled in late on, the sprinters' teams in the peloton upped the pace to chase down a last-ditch attempt by Belgian champion Yves Lampaert, of Quick Step.

Norwegian rider Alexander Kristoff with UAE Team Emirates won the last stage in a sprint finish, narrowly beating John Degenkolb and Arnaud Demare.

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

"The dream was always to participate, and that dream came true 11 years ago", Thomas said.

"It's very nice to win today, what can I say". "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".

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.

It took several laps of the inner-city circuit around the Champs-Elysees for the race to kick into action.

Wearing an all-yellow skin suit while riding a bike in the red, white and blue colours of the British flag, the 32-year-old Thomas was the last rider to start.

Thomas has been known for grit and determination that surpasses what is he norm for cyclists. "We'll see. I'm not thinking about this at the moment".

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