Wales celebrates as Geraint Thomas clinches Tour de France

Wales celebrates as Geraint Thomas clinches Tour de France
Wales celebrates as Geraint Thomas clinches Tour de France
  • 28 July 2018

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Geraint Thomas crosses the line knowing he has done enough to win the Tour de France in tomorrow final stage in Paris.

Wales is swapping the red and green of its flag for yellow - as Geraint Thomas is set to become the first ever Welshman to win the Tour de France.

The Cardiff cyclist just needs to cross the finish line in Paris on Sunday to be named the race champion.

Former Wales captain Sam Warburton - who went to the same school as Thomas - tweeted: "Absolutely awesome."

Parts of Wales - including Cardiff city hall - will be lit yellow later to mark the remarkable achievement.

A stunning performance during the time trial on the penultimate stage on Saturday meant Thomas goes into Paris holding onto the yellow jersey, and nearly two minutes in front of nearest rival Tom Domoulin.

The cycling tour's convention dictates that the wearer of the yellow jersey is never attacked on the final day - it is a procession for the tour winner.

His friend and former Whitchurch High School schoolmate Sam Warburton added it "couldn't happen to a nicer guy".

"It's insane. Tour de France! I can't believe it," said an emotional Thomas on after Saturday's 31km time trial.

"I'm really trying not to cry, it's unbelievable. 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.

"The last time I cried was when I got married and I don't know what's happened to me."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Geraint Thomas is greeted by wife Sara, who was flown in to meet the Tour winner in waiting

Cardiff Council has announced that City Hall will be illuminated yellow this evening in a nod to the yellow jersey Thomas has worn so often this Tour.

Image copyright Team Sky Cycling
Image caption The reality of what Thomas has achieved hits home in an embrace with team boss and fellow Welshman Sir David Brailsford.

"We are so proud of Geraint's fantastic achievement we've decided to illuminate City Hall in yellow on Saturday and Sunday to mark this landmark victory for Welsh sport," said Cardiff Council leader Cllr Huw Thomas.

"Geraint is a great ambassador for his home-city and an inspiration to young people thinking of taking up a particular sport professionally, or for leisure."

The Cardiff Central MP Jo Stevens added: "Amazing achievement" and "The Diff #Proud".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Geraint Thomas finished third in the time trial, but only 14 seconds behind the winner Tom Domoulin.

The Welsh Assembly's Presiding Officer Elin Jones tweeted to say the Senedd in Cardiff Bay would also be illuminated yellow.

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