Thomas triumphs in Tour
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