On July 29, 2018, a UK cyclist, Geraint Thomas become the first Welshman to cross the Tour de France finish line on the Champs-Élysées.
The 32-year-old was wearing the yellow jersey of the overall leader, when he crossed the line closely with the last year’s winner and teammate, Chris Froome.
In the ceremonial final stage of Sunday, Thomas maintained his defense and took a lead of 1 minute 51 seconds over Tom Dumoulin, Netherlands. Besides, a four-time champion Froome took the third place.
As per Cycling News, “After the customary champagne and photo opportunities during the first half of the stage, things – as they usually do – got serious once the peloton hit Paris. A six-man break got away early on the Champs-Élysées circuits, but with the sprinter’s teams keen to take the glory on the Tour’s last day, they were hunted down with 6.5km (4 miles) to go.”
The Associate Press wrote that during the podium ceremony, before draping the flag of Wales over his shoulders, Thomas said, “It’s going to take a while to sink in.”
“Normally that stage is really hard but today I just seemed to float around it. I had goose bumps going around there. The support from the Welsh, British flags. … To ride around wearing this (yellow jersey) is a dream,” he added.
As per The Associated Press, “French rider Sylvain Chavanel, riding his record 18th Tour, rode ahead of the pack as the first rider onto the Champs-Elysees.”
“World champion Peter Sagan matched Erik Zabel’s record by winning the green jersey points competition for a sixth time. French riders Julian Alaphilippe and Pierre Latour secured the polka-dot mountains jersey and best young rider white jersey, respectively,” it added.
Geraint Thomas was a support rider for previous four Tour de France victories of Froome. ESPN wrote, “This isn’t the first time a loyal support rider has emerged from the shadow of his former leader.”
ESPN also said, “Thomas prevailed because Froome wavered, but there’s more to it. Sky has the deepest pockets ($40 million, twice that of the next-richest organization) and correspondingly deepest bench in the business. In the highest mountains, incandescent 21-year-old Colombian talent Egan Bernal worked for both men.”