Tour de France 2018 win confirmed ahead of final stage

May JohnsonJul 30, 2018

The same can not for said for Australian cycling, for whom the Tour ended in stark contrast to the expectations shared by many when it began on July 7 in the Vendée region of western France.

"We're a small nation and we really get behind anyone who's successful", said Thomas after Saturday's race, the penultimate stage time trial where he was surprised by his wife Sara.

Dumoulin won the 20th stage by one second ahead of four-time champion Froome, who leapfrogged Primoz Roglic into third place overall. Immediately after the stage he was still talking about Froome being Sky's leader, but over the next couple of days Thomas' achievement began to sink in and he became more assertive in yellow.

Cycling - Tour de France - The 200.5-km Stage 19 from Lourdes to Laruns - July 27, 2018 - Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, and AG2R La Mondiale rider Romain Bardet of France sprint to the line.

But the spotlight was firmly on Thomas, so long in the shadows of teammates past and present, Bradley Wiggins, the first British victor of the famous race in 2012, then Froome.

"When I had a wobble on that corner, I thought, "Chill out a bit".

"The last time I cried was at my wedding, I don't know what happened then, at least I know what's happening now".

"We have stuck together through tough times, I owe them a lot", he added.

It took several laps of the inner-city circuit around the Champs-Elysees for the race to kick into action. He's been a massive part of my Tour victories.

Thomas first rode in the Tour in 2007, when he was 140th of the 141 finishers.

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The three-week race covered 3,351 kilometers (2,082 miles).

Thomas' second consecutive win - making him the first man since Toni Rominger in 1993 to win back-to-back mountain stages - was not by a huge margin, just two seconds to Dumoulin with Froome another two seconds back in fourth.

The first week of the Tour left significant gaps in the general classification as much through incident and misfortune as form.

In 2013, he broke his pelvis after crashing on the opening stage but managed to complete the race and help Froome pick up his first Tour title.

In 2015, he ended up in a ditch after crashing headfirst into a telegraph pole on a descent on stage 16. "Thomas was the absolute strongest over the three weeks, and he showed that every day".

He picked up the Yellow Jersey on stage 11 before cruising to victory on the Alpe d'Huez in the next stage to really take control of the race.

"Because we've been teammates and friends for so long, it made it easier to communicate honestly", Froome said.

Dumoulin had to console himself with his third career Tour stage win - all of which have come in individual time trials.

It mattered little, though, as Thomas maintained his lead to end Dumoulin's hopes of wrestling the yellow jersey from the 32-year-old.

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