Geraint Thomas takes maiden title as Sky extend Tour de France reign

Geraint Thomas wins tour de france 2018

Geraint Thomas tightened Team Sky’s grip on the Tour de France when he handed the British outfit their sixth title in seven years on Sunday and there is no sign that their domination will end anytime soon.

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).

Tom Dumoulin finished second for Team Sunweb after also taking the runner-up spot in the Giro d’Italia won by Froome, who ended up third overall.

Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) won Sunday’s final stage, largely a 116km procession from Houilles to the Champs-Elysees, during which Thomas enjoyed some champagne before heading to the finishing line in a bunch sprint.

“I got into cycling because of this race. I remember running home from school to watch the end of the Tour de France and the dream was always just to be part of it and that came true back in 2007,” Thomas told the crowd during the victory ceremony.

“Now I’m stood here in the yellow jersey and it’s just insane. It’s incredible and it’s a dream come true.

“To be riding round (the Champs Elysees) and winning it, you’ve got to pinch yourself. It won’t really sink in probably for a few months. Right now it’s like a whirlwind. I seem to be floating around on cloud nine.”

Froome’s failure to beat Thomas also showed how difficult it is to complete a Giro-Tour double, with Marco Pantani being the last man to achieve the feat in 1998 during the doping-tainted era.

Thomas, who won two mountain stages – including one on the top of the iconic Alpe d’Huez – emerged as the strongest man in the race as he gained ground on his two rivals after taking the yellow jersey at the end of stage 11.

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) confirmed his huge potential by winning two stages and taking the polka dot jersey for the mountains classification.

World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) ground through the last days after a heavy crash to secure a record-equalling sixth green jersey for the points classification and Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) emerged as a possible podium finisher in the near future by winning the white jersey for the best under-25 rider.

It was, however, a disappointing race for France as Romain Bardet showed his limits when he ended up sixth overall after two podium finishes in 2016 and 2017.

No Frenchman has won the race since Bernard Hinault took his fifth title in 1985.

Tour de France 2018 – stage 21 results ( Houilles – Paris):

1Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)

2:46:36

2John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)

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3Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)

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4Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data)

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5Christophe Laporte (Cofidis)

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6Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors)

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7Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida)

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8Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)

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9Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert)

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10Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal)

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11Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Groupe Gobert)

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12Thomas Boudat (Direct Energie)

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13Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First-Drapac)

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14Magnus Cort (Astana)

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15Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale)

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16Daniele Bennati (Movistar)

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17Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb)

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18Edward Theuns (Team Sunweb)

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19Mathew Hayman (Mitchelton-Scott)

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20Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo)

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General classification after stage 21:

1Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

83:17:13

2Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)

+01’51”

3Chris Froome (Team Sky)

+02’24”

4Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo)

+03’22”

5Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo)

+06’08”

6Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)

+06’57”

7Mikel Landa (Movistar)

+07’37”

8Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates)

+09’05”

9Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)

+12’37”

10Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

+14’18”

11Bob JungelsĀ (Quick-Step Floors)

+16’32”

12Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)

+19’16”

13Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale)

+22’13”

14Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

+27’26”

15Egan Bernal (Team Sky)

+27’52”

16Tanel Kangert (Astana)

+34’28”

17Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic)

+37’06”

18Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida)

+39’08”

19Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)

+39’18”

20Damiano Caruso (BMC)

+42’31”

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