Tuesday, September 27News That Matters

Sports Personality of the Year winner: Geraint Thomas triumphs after Tour de France success

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Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2018.

The Team Sky rider, 32, became only the third Briton to win the race, after Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.

“I take great pride in representing Britain and Wales,” he said on Sunday. “It has been a great year for British sport and long may it continue.”

In a public vote, Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton finished second while footballer Harry Kane was third.

Thomas – who was presented with his award by 2017 winner Sir Mo Farah – is the first Welshman to win Sports Personality since footballer Ryan Giggs in 2009.

Geraint Thomas after winning the Tour de France

“I really should have thought about what I was going to say,” a shocked Thomas said.

“I feel very lucky to have come into cycling when I did. I just went down to the local leisure centre for a swim and instead I rode my bike.

“As a bike rider, I always focus on myself. Obviously people want me to win, but hearing stories like Tyson [Fury]’s and Billy [Monger]’s, you realise that what we do does inspire people back home.

“To see people on their bikes and enjoying it, you take just as much pride from that as winning something like this.”

The award comes after Thomas was named BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2018 earlier this month.

His victories in the public votes are recognition for his success on two wheels. Between 2007 and 2012, he won two Olympic and three world team pursuit titles on the track.

His Tour de France victory came in his ninth appearance – one fewer than the record for most appearances before winning.

He won two stages of the Tour, including stage 12, which included the famous Alpe d’Huez climb, and wore the Yellow Jersey for the final 11 stages.

Thomas was the first Welshman to win the Tour and it was the sixth time in seven years a Brit had won.

He beat Dutchman Tom Dumoulin by one minute 51 seconds to clinch the title, with Team Sky team-mate Froome third.

Reaction to Thomas’ win

Mark Cavendish tweet: "Nice one Geraint Thomas!"

Gareth Bale tweet: Congratulations Geraint Thomas. Deserved winner!

British Cycling tweet: On behalf of everyone at British Cycling we'd like to congratulate Geraint Thomas on his SPOTY win. What a year, here's to the next.

Other award winners at Sports Personality 2018

The previous five SPOTY winners

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BBC Sport – Sport

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