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And so the Tour de France is over for another year. At the start of the race, more than three weeks ago, few would have been surprised to learn that Team Sky would win its sixth Tour in seven years. The fact it wasn’t Chris Froome taking victory might have been a surprise, though.
Geraint Thomas deserved his victory — he was the strongest all-round rider in the race. He took two stage wins in the mountains, time-trialled very strongly, and stayed out of trouble all race (and particularly in those tricky first nine days). “G” is now the first Welshman to win the Tour de France.
As is tradition, the general classification was decided before the final stage, giving Thomas and his Sky teammates a chance to savour the moment. There was the customary champagne, the customary dawdle towards Paris, and then the customary sprint finish on the Champs-Élysées.
Of course, a breakaway got up the road and tried to steal the show. So too Belgian champion Yves Lampaert with a final-kilometre salvo. And Sylvain Chavanel also got some time out front in what is his record-breaking 18th(!) and final Tour de France.
But ultimately it was the Tour’s few remaining sprinters that would battle it out for the victory on cycling’s most famous boulevard. After a tough Tour — and a tough few Tours, really — Alexander Kristoff proved strongest of the fastmen, winning in Paris for the first time.
The GC men crossed the finish line a moment later, confirming Geraint Thomas as the winner of the 2018 Tour de France.