Tour de France: Geraint Thomas all but secures 2018 title | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 28.07.2018
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Tour de France: Geraint Thomas all but secures 2018 title

His nearest competitor won the stage 20 time trial but the day belonged to Geraint Thomas. The Team Sky cyclist finished third on Saturday but is now almost certain to win his first Tour de France title on Sunday.

Dutch world time-trial champion Tom Dumoulin pipped Chris Froome to the 31-kilometer stage but, barring the most unlikely of circumstances, Thomas will cruise down the Champs Elysees to take the title from teammate Chris Froome on Sunday.

Thomas has won two stages on the tour this year and, after a shaky start and a locked back wheel, he managed to keep things safe on Saturday to put himself in an all-but unassailable position.

Tradition dictates that the yellow jersey wearer is not attacked during the largely processional route into Paris on Sunday's final stage. Thomas only needs to finish to claim the win.

After the race had finished, Thomas covered his eyes with his hands, as the enormity of his achievement began to sank in.

"I'm really trying not to cry, it's unbelievable," he said. "I tried not to think about it, just take it day by day. I've won the Tour de France man, I don't know what to say.

"I felt good today and started putting the power down but then took every corner super slow. I can finally let the emotion come. The last time I cried was at my wedding, I don't know what happened then, at least I know what's happening now.

The Welshman took the yellow jersey after winning stage 11 in the Alps and never looked back, taking stage 12 too and then showing his strength in the Pyrenees mountains as rivals faded. 

Thomas' expected triumph comes as somewhat of a surprise with teammate and defending champion Chris Froome the big favorite ahead of the three-week race.

Previously a track cyclist, who won Olympic golds in 2008 and '12, Thomas has since followed the career path of Froome, who worked for Team Sky to secure fellow Briton Bradley Wiggins his Tour de France title before moving on to win the race himself with Thomas as his assistant.

Slovakia's Peter Sagan is set to win a record-equalling sixth green jersey as winner of the points classification, with Julian Alaphilippe of France already the King of the Mountains in polka dot.

mp/js (dpa/AFP)

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