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Thomas poised to win Tour de France as Dumoulin takes stage 20 time trial

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Geraint Thomas tour de france 2018 stage 20

Geraint Thomas effectively sealed his first Tour de France title on Saturday by protecting the yellow jersey in the penultimate stage time trial.

Thomas takes a lead of 1 minute, 51 seconds over Tom Dumoulin into the mostly ceremonial finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday.

Dumoulin won the stage by one second ahead of four-time champion Chris Froome, who leapfrogged Primoz Roglic into third place overall.

”It’s just overwhelming,” Thomas said. ”I didn’t think about it all race, and now suddenly I won the Tour.”

”After a difficult day yesterday I did not think it was possible,” Froome said. ”I’m very, very happy. Being on the podium with Geraint is a dream.”

Thomas finished third in the stage, 14 seconds behind, but that was more than enough to protect his lead. At the start of the day, it was more than two minutes.

Wearing an all-yellow skin suit on a bike in the red, white and blue colors of the British flag, Thomas was the last rider to start.

In a few drops of rain, Thomas was quick to regain control when his wheel appeared to lock up coming around a tricky, tight corner early on the route. Still, he was first at the two checkpoints before slowing his pace in the final kilometers.

”I felt good. I felt strong. I felt really good, actually. I heard I was up and maybe I was pushing it a bit hard on some of those corners,” Thomas said. ”Nico (Portal, Sky sports director) told me to relax, take it easy and just make sure I won the Tour. And that’s what I did.”

At the finish, Thomas let out a loud scream and held his arms out wide in celebration. He embraced his wife, Sara Elen, as soon as he got off his bike.

”The last time I cried was when I got married,” Thomas said as he teared up.

Thomas is poised to become the third British rider – and first Welshman – to win the Tour after Bradley Wiggins and Froome. Also, he will make it Sky’s sixth victory in the last seven years.

Thomas claimed the yellow jersey by winning Stage 11 in the Alps, followed that up with another victory atop Alpe d’Huez a day later, and defended his advantage through the Pyrenees.

Thomas was a support rider during Froome’s title rides but he became Sky’s undisputed leader when Froome cracked in the grueling 17th stage through the Pyrenees.

Tour de France 2018 – stage 20 results ( Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle – Espelette):

1 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)

40:52

2 Chris Froome (Team Sky)

+01”

3 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

+14”

4 Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky)

+50”

5 Søren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb)

+51”

6 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)

+52”

7 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)

+01’02”

8 Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo)

+01’12”

9 Marc Soler (Movistar)

+01’22”

10 Michael Hepburn (Mitchelton-Scott)

+01’23”

11 Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

+01’26”

12 Stefan Küng (BMC)

,,

13 Damiano Caruso (BMC)

+01’31”

14 Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky)

,,

15 Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida)

+01’41”

16 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo)

+01’45”

17 Wout Poels (Team Sky)

+01’49”

18 Simon Geschke (Team Sunweb)

+01’50”

19 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

,,

20 Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin)

+01’52”

 

General classification after stage 20:

1 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

80:30:37

2 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)

+01’51”

3 Chris Froome (Team Sky)

+02’24”

4 Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo)

+03’22”

5 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo)

+06’08”

6 Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)

+06’57”

7 Mikel Landa (Movistar)

+07’37”

8 Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates)

+09’05”

9 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)

+12’37”

10 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

+14’18”

11 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)

+16’32”

12 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)

+19’16”

13 Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale)

+22’13”

14 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

+27’26”

15 Egan Bernal (Team Sky)

+27’52”

16 Tanel Kangert (Astana)

+34’28”

17 Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic)

+37’06”

18 Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida)

+39’08”

19 Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)

+39’18”

20 Damiano Caruso (BMC)

+42’31”