Geraint Thomas: Max Boyce immortalises Tour de France victory

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
After 21 stages over three weeks, Geraint Thomas was crowned the Tour de France winner in Paris

Geraint Thomas' Tour de France triumph has been immortalised in a poem by Welsh singing legend Max Boyce.

The double Olympic champion became just the third Briton to win cycling's most prestigious race when he finished the three-week tour in Paris last week.

A homecoming celebration for Thomas takes place in Cardiff on Thursday and Boyce, who wrote rugby anthem Hymns and Arias, penned the poem to celebrate.

"It's arguably one of the great moments in Welsh sport," said Boyce.

The Boy Who Climbed A Mountain by Max Boyce

Image caption,
Max Boyce was inspired to write the song by Thomas' Tour de France heroics

There's a pillar box in Cardiff, where the mayor has arranged

To buy some tins of yellow paint, and have the colour changed

And down in Cardiff city hall, I've heard the council say

We'll change the name of the Severn Bridge, to the Geraint Thomas Way

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Now Whitchurch High are justly proud, and they love to tell the tale

How he carved his name in the wood of a desk, like Warburton and Bale

And where his yellow jersey hangs, beside the wooden beams

This boy who climbed a mountain, and dared to chase his dreams

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Thomas won two stages in the 2018 Tour de France, including on the famous Alpe d'Huez

But there were some who doubted, 'he doesn't stand a chance'

There's never been a Welshman, who has won the Tour de France

But he's more then just a domestique, I've known it all along

The boy deserves a knighthood and his bike deserves a gong

Image caption,
It takes Richard Hughes six to eight weeks to craft each Grogg

Now the Grogg shop up in Ponty, are working night and day

But people are complaining, there's such a long delay

The kilns are full of Geraints, with a Welsh flag shouldered high

But people have to understand, his hair takes time to dry

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
Geraint Thomas became the third Briton to win the Tour de France

So I'll buy a Grogg of Geraint, though I know they don't come cheap

And I'll sell my one of Elvis, and one of Lynn The Leap

'Coz when G rode through Paris, and he waved to all the crowd

He climbed more than a mountain, he made a nation proud

Image caption,
Cardiff paid its tribute to Thomas by turning City Hall turns yellow

So I hope it's fine next Thursday, to welcome Geraint home

They say the Pope is coming, he's flying in from Rome

And Donald Trump is coming too, he said it should be fun

This guy deserves a medal, so I'll come on Air Force One

Image caption,
Fans welcomed the Welsh football team home after Euro 2016

So I hope it's fine on Thursday, but I think it's still in doubt

So Derek has suggested, we keep our brollies out

So I'll stand outside the city hall, with its gilded marble dome

And sing like England soccer fans, that Geraint's coming home

Boyce said watching 32-year-old Thomas ride into Paris at the end of the three-week race wearing the famous yellow jersey "inspired him."

"To see him riding into Paris and with all the Welsh supporters, Welsh flags flying and singing Hymns and Arias and Delilah, if that doesn't inspire you nothing will," the 74-year-old entertainer told BBC Radio Wales.

Thursday's homecoming event will start at the Senedd and finish with a celebration outside Cardiff Castle from from 17:00 BST.

Thomas will be formally congratulated by First Minister Carwyn Jones and the Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales Elin Jones.

The Team Sky rider will be accompanied by a peloton of young riders from various cycling clubs up St Mary Street before taking to a stage to speak to the crowd outside the castle walls.

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