Thomas tri­umphs in Tour

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - RACING -

ESPELETTE: Bri­ton Geraint Thomas is set to win his maiden Tour de France after he held on to the over­all leader’s yel­low jer­sey in the penul­ti­mate stage yes­ter­day.

Bar­ring an ac­ci­dent in the pro­ces­sion to the Champ­sEl­y­sees to­day, the 32-year-old Welsh­man will give Team Sky their sixth ti­tle in seven years after Bradley Wig­gins in 2012 and Chris Froome in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Froome had been the favourite to re­tain his ti­tle but he paid the price for the ef­forts he made to win the Giro d’Italia in May as he just failed to be­come the first man in 20 years to achieve the Giro-Tour dou­ble.

Froome was sec­ond in the 31-km time trial, won by a sin­gle sec­ond by time-trial world cham­pion Tom Du­moulin, with Thomas com­ing home third, 14 sec­onds off the pace.

Over­all, Thomas leads Du­moulin by 1:51 and Froome by 2:24 after the lanky Bri­ton leapfrogged Slove­nian Pri­moz Roglic, who cracked in the last com­pet­i­tive stage.

Thomas topped the pro­vi­sional rank­ings at the first check­point but the Bri­ton rode cau­tiously to the line, tak­ing no risk on slip­pery roads to se­cure his first grand tour ti­tle.

Froome came close to another stage win but even­tu­ally had to con­cede de­feat to Du­moulin. But he at least sal­vaged a podium fin­ish after drop­ping to fourth over­all fol­low­ing Fri­day’s last moun­tain stage. — Reuters

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