Geraint Thomas crowned Tour de France champion as Alexander Kristoff wins final stage in Paris
Thomas third Briton, and first Welshman, to win Tour
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 30/07/18 8:45am
Geraint Thomas is Tour de France champion for the first time in his career after the final stage in Paris was won by Alexander Kristoff.
Thomas safely crossed the line alongside the rest of Team Sky on the Champs-Elysees a few seconds after the bunch sprint was won by Norwegian sprint star Kristoff.
There were no scares for Thomas on the largely processional final day, which started sedately and saw the Welshman enjoy a quick glass of champagne alongside his team-mates.
He finished the race alongside Chris Froome, who applauded Thomas over the line as he finished third overall after falling just short in his quest to win a fourth successive Tour title.
The race crawled through the Paris suburbs until the usual crescendo over eight laps of the central Paris circuit passing landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe and Tuileries Gardens.
Sylvain Chavanel, riding his 18th and final Tour before retiring, led the field into Paris but he soon fell back into the peloton as a six-man breakaway formed.
They were reeled in on the final lap but briefly it appeared there was going to be a shock result as Belgian champion Yves Lampaert made a daring late bid for glory.
But Lampaert was caught in the closing 300m and it was Kristoff who produced the best sprint finish to win on the Champs-Elysees for the first time.
John Degenkolb finished second with former French champion Arnaud Demare filling third spot.
But it was all about Thomas on Sunday, with the Welshman becoming the sixth Team Sky winner of the Tour de France in the last seven years.
He joins Sir Bradley Wiggins (2012) and Chris Froome (2013 and 2015-17) in winning the season's most prestigious Grand Tour for Great Britain.
Stage 21 result
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 2:46:36
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo same time
3. Arnaud Dmare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ same time
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Dimension Data same time
5. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits same time
6. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors same time
7. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida same time
8. Peter Sagan (Svk) BORA-Hansgrohe same time
9. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert same time
10. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto-Soudal same time
1. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 83:17:13
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb +00:01:51
3 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky +00:02:24
4 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo +00:03:22
5 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo +00:06:08
6 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale +00:06:57
7 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team +00:07:37
8 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates +00:09:05
9 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin +00:12:37
10 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team +00:14:18