Tears of joy were cried after the finish of stage 20, and yesterday’s finale in Paris was no less emotional for Geraint Tomas. Arriving safely in a bunch after Kristoff won the final sprint, he could hardly believe his luck.
“It’s just a whirlwind. Obviously crossing the line there was massive emotion,” Thomas said after stage 20. “Hearing the stories of what it’s like back in Wales. I’ve stayed in the bubble so I’ve no idea. It’s insane. I didn’t know my wife was here either, which kind of made it worse. It was just about doing all the small things right. Then the wall came falling down. Welling up every time I hugged anyone or talked about it. It’s incredible to be here with this jersey. It’s insane. Big thanks to Froomey as well because he committed to me. I appreciate having probably the best stage race rider ever riding for me. It’s surreal. It’s going to take a while to sink in.”
Team Sky faced punches, spits and boos along the way to Paris, but Chris Froome believes that it only made them stronger.
Thank you for the amazing support over the last 3 weeks!
It has been full of ups and downs but I couldn’t have asked to spend it with a better team of people.
And to @GeraintThomas86 there is no one more deserving. Congrats champ 👊 🏴 #TDF2018 pic.twitter.com/ayxlFvmg5z
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) July 29, 2018
“I think when there is negativity like that, it brings us as a team closer together, I definitely feel that with the riders,” Froome said. “We bonded and it felt as if we were out against the rest of the world and we were here to win the race. It’s amazing. G pulled through. It’s been more difficult than it was previously, and Geraint handled being in the yellow jersey extremely well. I think it’s if you choose to let it get to you.”
Only Tom Dumoulin was able to squeeze himself between Froome and Thomas. And though he still has to wait for his Le Tour triumph, he wasn’t too unhappy about it.
“Being second in the Tour de France is already an achievement in my eyes,” the Dutchman said. “But of course, I’d like to go for a win one day, but then we just have to look at what’s possible and how to improve. No one expected me to do so well, including myself, in this Tour de France. We also didn’t have an eye on the podium, we were just going for it, of course we were fighting for the GC, that was a goal, but we have to look at doing better in the next years.”
Final general classification
1 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), in 83:17:13
2 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), at 1:51
3 Chris Froome (Team Sky), at 2:54
4 Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo), at 3:22
5 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), at 6:08
6 Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale), at 6:57
7 Mikel Landa (Movistar Team), at 7:37
8 Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates), at 9:05
9 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), at 12:37
10 Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team), at 14:18