Norwegian rider Alexander Kristoff won the prestigious final stage of the 2018 Tour de France but the day belonged to Britain’s Geraint Thomas, who was crowned the overall winner in Paris.
Welsh rider Geraint Thomas of Britain’s Team Sky was crowned the winner of the 2018 Tour de France with Alexander Kristoff (Norway/Emirates) winning the 21st stage sprint on the Champs Elysees in Paris. For Team Sky, it’s the sixth Tour victory in seven years.
Dutchman Tom Dumoulin finished second for Team Sunweb while Giro d’Italia winner Chris Froome (Britain/Team Sky) finished third.
Thomas had already been designated as the winner of this year’s Tour, becoming the third Briton to do so after Bradley Wiggins and Froome. Thomas, 32, was able to enjoy the procession into Paris with tradition dictating that the Yellow Jersey not be attacked on the final stage.
“It’s insane. It’s the stuff of dreams,” he said ahead of the stage start. “As a kid I dreamt of being in this race. Through the years the results have slowly built. To be in this position now is just incredible. I think it’ll take a while to sink in. It’s just bonkers. I’m going to try to enjoy today, and certainly tonight!”
For the rest of the field, there was still the issue of a prestigious final stage to win – and the contest was more open than ever with the winners of the last nine Champs-Elysees sprints (Mark Cavendish (four), Marcel Kittel and André Greipel (two each), and Dylan Groenewegen) all having dropped out.
David Gaudu, Silvan Dillier, Taylor Phinney, Nils Politt, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Michael Schar formed a breakaway group with 46 kilometers (28.6 miles) left and remained 15-40 seconds ahead of the peloton until the final two laps of the Champs-Elysees when a counterattack led by Julian Alaphilippe of Quick-Step Floors began to reel them in.
As the bell rang for the final circuit, Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) positioned himself towards the front of the peloton which successfully caught up with the breakaway group to set up a group sprint finish, with Yves Lampaert sprinting ahead alone. But the Belgian had gone to early and was caught before the line by Kristoff.