Tour de France: How Geraint Thomas became third British winner

Geraint Thomas (in yellow) with Team Sky team-mates
Thomas has the help of seven Team Sky team-mates in his quest for Tour glory

Geraint Thomas has become the third British winner of the Tour de France.

The 32-year-old set out on the three-week, 3,000km race as one of Team Sky's two leaders, alongside four-time Tour champion Chris Froome.

Fellow Briton Froome was clear favourite to win a joint-record fifth Tour, but he ended up reversing roles with Thomas to help his team-mate to victory.

This is the story of how Thomas won the 2018 Tour de France...

Stage 1: Saturday, 7 July - Noirmoutier-en-L'Ile - Fontenay-le-Comte, 201km

Chris Froome lifts his bike back on to the road after crashing on stage one
Froome ran wide on a left-hand bend and ended up in a field

Winner: Fernando Gaviria (Col/Quick-Step Floors)

Report: Froome crashes as Gaviria wins to take yellow jersey

Defending champion Chris Froome crashes late on in a chaotic end to the opening stage. The four-time Tour winner is quickly back on his bike but finishes 51 seconds behind several rivals for the overall victory, but alongside others including fellow Briton Adam Yates and Australia's Richie Porte. Mark Cavendish does not feature in the sprint finish, won by Colombian debutant Fernando Gaviria who takes the yellow jersey.

Stage 2: Sunday, 8 July - Mouilleron-Saint-Germain - La Roche-sur-Yon, 182.5km

Peter Sagan (left) holds off Sonny Colbrelli to win stage two
Peter Sagan (left) holds off the fast-finishing Sonny Colbrelli to win his ninth Tour de France stage

Winner: Peter Sagan (Svk/Bora-Hansgrohe)

Report: Sagan sprints into yellow jersey as Froome avoids crashes

Peter Sagan avoids a crash inside the final two kilometres, that delays stage one winner Fernando Gaviria, and then surges past Arnaud Demare on the slight incline to the finish to take his ninth Tour de France stage win and the yellow jersey. Defending champion Chris Froome also avoids the crash as he finishes safely inside the peloton, while team-mate and fellow Briton Geraint Thomas climbs to seventh overall.

Stage 3: Monday, 9 July - team time trial, Cholet, 35.5km

BMC celebrate winning stage three of the Tour de France
BMC beat Team Sky by four seconds to win the team time trial and put Greg van Avermaet in the yellow jersey

Winner: BMC Racing (US)

Report: Van Avermaet in yellow after BMC win team time trial

BMC secure an impressive victory in the team time trial to put Belgium's Greg van Avermaet into the yellow jersey. Team Sky finish second to help Chris Froome climb the standings and restore parity with most of the overall contenders after losing time in a crash on stage one. Peter Sagan is never in contention to defend the race lead as he is dropped by his Bora-Hansgrohe team-mates.

Stage 4: Tuesday, 10 July - La Baule - Sarzeau, 195km

Fernando Gaviria celebrates winning stage four

Winner: Fernando Gaviria (Col/Quick-Step Floors)

Report: Gaviria wins second stage in thrilling sprint finish

Tour de France debutant Fernando Gaviria wins his second stage, kicking twice to deny Peter Sagan and Andre Greipel in a thrilling finish in Sarzeau, after the peloton finally catch a four-man breakaway just before the final kilometre. Mark Cavendish is boxed in and cannot contest the sprint. Greg van Avermaet retains the leader's yellow jersey, avoiding a crash at 5km to go to finish safely in the bunch alongside the likes of Chris Froome and Adam Yates.

Stage 5: Wednesday, 11 July - Lorient - Quimper, 204.5km

Peter Sagan celebrates his second tour win of Tour de France 2018
Peter Sagan celebrates his second tour win of Tour de France 2018

Winner: Peter Sagan (Svk/Bora-Hansgrohe)

Report: Sagan sprints to second stage win

World champion Peter Sagan outstays his rivals to win a dramatic uphill sprint finish in Quimper on stage five of the Tour de France. He makes his move with 200m to go, beating Sonny Colbrelli and Philippe Gilbert for his second stage win. Greg van Avermaet stays in the yellow jersey, extending his overall lead with a two-second bonus during the stage.

Stage 6: Thursday, 12 July - Brest - Mur-de-Bretagne, 181km

Dan Martin celebrates winning stage six of the 2018 Tour de France
Dan Martin took his second Tour stage victory, having won in the Pyrenees in 2013

Winner: Dan Martin (Ire/UAE Team Emirates)

Report: Martin wins stage as Thomas climbs to second overall

Ireland's Dan Martin produces a superb late attack to win stage six, kicking with a kilometre to go on the final climb and holding off the late challenge of Pierre Roger Latour by a second. Team Sky's Geraint Thomas is part of a group three seconds behind but climbs to second overall after securing two bonus seconds during the stage, while Chris Froome finishes a further five seconds behind his team-mate.

Stage 7: Friday, 13 July - Fougeres - Chartres, 231km

Dylan Groenewegen celebrates on the podium after winning stage seven of the 2018 Tour de France
Dylan Groenewegen won his first Tour stage on the Champs Elysees last year

Winner: Dylan Groenewegen (Ned/LottoNL-Jumbo)

Report: Groenewegen sprints to victory as Thomas stays second

After little drama on the longest stage of this year's Tour, Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen blitzes past Fernando Gaviria to take an impressive sprint victory in Chartres, with Peter Sagan third. Team Sky's Geraint Thomas stays second overall but falls to six seconds behind leader Greg van Avermaet after the Belgian grabs three bonus seconds.

Stage 8: Saturday, 14 July - Dreux - Amiens, 181km

Dylan Groenewegen raises two fingers on each hand to celebrate his second stage win in as many days
Dylan Groenewegen pulled level with Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan on two stage wins at the 2018 Tour

Winner: Dylan Groenewegen (Ned/LottoNL-Jumbo)

Report: Groenewegen makes it two in two

Dylan Groenewegen makes it two stage wins in two days, kicking from deep to overhaul Andre Greipel and Fernando Gaviria, who are later relegated for two separate incidents during the finale. That hands Peter Sagan second place and increases his lead in the green jersey points classification, while Mark Cavendish finishes eighth. Team Sky's Geraint Thomas stays in second overall but is now seven seconds off Greg van Avermaet in the leader's yellow jersey after the Belgian grabs a bonus second.

Stage 9: Sunday, 15 July - Arras - Roubaix, 156.5km

John Degenkolb celebrates by putting his two fists up after taking the win on stage nine
John Degenkolb won Paris-Roubaix in 2015 and took his first Tour stage over the same cobbles

Winner: John Degenkolb (Ger/Trek-Segafredo)

Report: Degenkolb wins crash-packed stage nine as Porte abandons

John Degenkolb sprints to his first Tour stage win from a select group at the end of a crash-packed race across many of the cobbles found in the one-day classic Paris-Roubaix. Greg van Avermaet takes second and extends his lead in the yellow jersey to 43 seconds over Geraint Thomas. BMC's Richie Porte abandons the race after crashing just 10km into the stage, while Chris Froome also crashes but is unscathed and finishes safely in the main bunch.

Rest day: Monday, 16 July - Annecy

Stage 10: Tuesday, 17 July - Annecy - Le Grand-Bornand, 158.5km

Julian Alaphilippe raises a bouquet of flowers to celebrate winning stage 10
Julian Alaphilippe also claimed the polka dot jersey as leader of the mountains classification in victory on stage 10

Winner: Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Quick-Step Floors)

Report: Alaphilippe wins solo as Van Avermaet extends overall lead

Julian Alaphilippe claims his first Tour stage victory with an impressive attack on the penultimate climb to remain clear to the finish in Le Grand-Bornand. Greg van Avermaet gets in the early breakaway and holds on to finish fourth on the stage, extending his lead in the yellow jersey to two minutes and 22 seconds over Geraint Thomas, though still expects to lose the race lead in the Alps. Chris Froome and Adam Yates finish safely in the bunch to move up to sixth and seventh respectively.

Stage 11, Wednesday, 18 July - Albertville - La Rosiere, 108.5km

Geraint Thomas
Thomas' victory was his second Tour de France stage win

Winner: Geraint Thomas (Gbr/Team Sky)

Report: Thomas takes Tour overall lead with stage 11 victory

Britain's Geraint Thomas becomes the Tour de France's overall leader with an impressive victory on stage 11. Team Sky rider Thomas attacks with six kilometres left on a frenetic final climb up La Rosiere, to finish 20 seconds ahead of team-mate Chris Froome and second-placed Tom Dumoulin. Belgium's Greg van Avermaet, who had led since the third stage, finishes well down the field.

Stage 12: Thursday, 19 July - Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs - Alpe d'Huez, 175.5km

Geraint Thomas
Thomas showed his sprinting prowess as the stage reached its climax

Winner: Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky)

Report: Thomas wins back-to-back Tour stages

Geraint Thomas becomes the first Briton to win on the fabled Alpe d'Huez, his victory in a five-man sprint finish securing back-to-back stage wins and seeing him extend his lead in the yellow jersey. The quintet, which also included Team Sky team-mate Chris Froome and Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin, attack and counter-attack one another on the way up one of cycling's most famous climbs, but come back together in the final few hundred metres before Thomas accelerates out of the last bend.

Stage 13: Friday, 20 July - Bourg d'Oisans - Valence, 169.5km

Peter Sagan gives a thumbs up on the podium to celebrate winning stage 13
Sagan edged his rivals on the line in Valence to secure the 11th Tour stage win of his career

Winner: Peter Sagan (Svk/Bora-Hansgrohe)

Report: Sagan surges late to secure third stage win

World champion Peter Sagan claims his third stage victory of the 2018 Tour de France, kicking from deep to beat Alexander Kristoff and Arnaud Demare on the line. With leading sprinters Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel, Andre Greipel, Fernando Gaviria and Dylan Groenewegen all exiting the race in the Alps, Sagan's Bora-Hansgrohe team work with Groupama-FDJ and UAE Team Emirates to reel in the breakaway. Geraint Thomas enjoys a relatively calm day to retain the yellow jersey.

Stage 14: Saturday, 21 July - Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux - Mende, 188km

Omar Fraile gives a thumbs up on the podium after winning stage 14
Omar Fraile took the biggest victory of his career by overhauling Jasper Stuyven to win stage 14

Winner: Omar Fraile (Spa/Astana)

Report: Fraile wins from the breakaway as Thomas keeps yellow

Omar Fraile claims his first Tour de France stage win, overtaking Jasper Stuyven inside the last 3km on a brutal final climb after Stuyven had attacked a large breakaway group with 35km to go. The peloton arrives 20 minutes later and Geraint Thomas retains the leader's yellow jersey, closing down attacks by Tom Dumoulin and Chris Froome as those leading three riders on general classification finish alongside each other.

Stage 15: Sunday, 22 July - Millau - Carcassonne, 181.5km

Magnus Cort Nielsen
Magnus Cort took his first stage win in his debut Tour de France on stage 15

Winner: Magnus Cort (Den/Astana)

Report: Cort wins first Tour stage as Thomas takes yellow into final week

Magnus Cort makes it two stage wins in two days for Astana, easily holding off Ion Izagirre and Bauke Mollema in a three-man sprint. A breakaway of 29 riders finally go up the road and are gradually whittled down, with Cort getting into the key selection to win his first Tour stage. Geraint Thomas enjoys a relatively sedate ride to ensure he retains the yellow jersey into the final week.

Rest day: Monday, 23 July - Carcassonne

Stage 16: Tuesday, 24 July - Carcassonne - Bagnères-de-Luchon, 218km

Julian Alaphilippe pulls on the polka dot jersey after winning stage 16
Alaphilippe won the first stage in the Pyrenees after taking stage 10 in the Alps

Winner: Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Quick-Step Floors)

Report: Alaphilippe wins after Yates crashes while leading

An eventful day sees the race stopped for 15 minutes early on after a protest by French farmers, during which police use spray that blows into the peloton and forces riders to pull over and douse their eyes with water. After resuming, a large break goes up the road is whittled down until Adam Yates goes solo over the final climb. But the Briton crashes on the descent with just 7km to go, under pressure from Julian Alaphilippe, who swings past to win his second stage of the race. Geraint Thomas enjoys a relatively easy day to retain the yellow jersey.

Stage 17: Wednesday, 25 July - Bagneres-de-Luchon - Saint-Lary-Soulan, 65km

Nairo Quintana
Quintana's second Tour de France stage victory came more than five years after his first

Winner: Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar)

Report: Thomas extends lead as Froome falters

Britain's Geraint Thomas extends his lead in the Tour de France as defending champion Chris Froome falters on the final climb on stage 17. The Welshman, 32, who is chasing his first Grand Tour victory, leads Team Sky team-mate Froome by two minutes 31 seconds with four stages left. Thomas' closest general classification rival is now Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, who is 1:59 behind, with Froome in third. Nairo Quintana holds off Ireland's Dan Martin to win the 65km (40-mile) stage.

Stage 18: Thursday, 26 July - Trie-sur-Baise - Pau, 171km

Arnaud Demare (left) beats Christophe Laporte in Pau
Demare (left) held of fellow Frenchman Laporte to win his second Tour de France stage

Winner: Arnaud Demare (Fra/Groupama-FDJ)

Report: Thomas retains lead after Demare wins in Pau

Britain's Geraint Thomas retains his overall race lead on a quieter day for those in the hunt for the yellow jersey - although Colombian Nairo Quintana cuts his arm in a crash - as the top of the standings remain unchanged. The expected bunch sprint finish comes to fruition with Arnaud Demare pipping fellow Frenchman Christophe Laporte.

Stage 19: Friday, 27 July - Lourdes - Laruns, 200.5km

Primoz Roglic celebrates on the podium after winning stage 19
Primoz Roglic claimed his second Tour stage win to move into third place overall

Winner: Primoz Roglic (Slo/LottoNL-Jumbo)

Report: Thomas edges closer to Tour victory as Roglic wins final mountain stage

Britain's Geraint Thomas follows all the attacks of his rivals over the final mountains of the Tour before sprinting to finish second on the stage and extend his lead over Tom Dumoulin to two minutes and five seconds heading into the individual time trial on stage 20. Primoz Roglic kicks clear of a group of all the favourites on the final descent to win in Laruns and overtake Chris Froome into third place overall.

Stage 20: Saturday, 28 July - individual time trial, Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle - Espelette, 31km

Geraint Thomas celebrates on the podium after the penultimate stage of the Tour de France
Geraint Thomas finished third in the time trial to make sure of carrying the yellow jersey into Paris

Winner: Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Sunweb)

Report: Thomas set to win Tour as Dumoulin claims time trial victory

Britain's Geraint Thomas finishes third in the individual time trial to ensure he is set to win the 2018 Tour de France, with convention dictating the yellow jersey is not challenged on the final stage in Paris. World time trial champion Tom Dumoulin wins the stage by one second over Team Sky's Chris Froome, after initial confusion over the finishing times. The Dutchman's win sees him secure second overall. Froome's performance is enough to see the four-time Tour winner reclaim third place overall from Primoz Roglic.

Stage 21: Sunday, 29 July - Houilles - Paris, 116km

Geraint Thomas holds the Wales flag aloft while wearing the yellow jersey on the podium in Paris
Geraint Thomas is the first Welshman to win the Tour de France

Winner: Alexander Kristoff (Nor/UAE Team Emirates)

Report: Thomas crowned Tour champion as Kristoff wins in Paris

Britain's Geraint Thomas rolls safely over the line in Paris to become the Tour de France champion, linking arms with team-mate Chris Froome, who secures third overall, while Tom Dumoulin finishes runner-up. Norway's Alexander Kristoff claims his first win on the Champs Elysees, holding off John Degenkolb and Arnaud Demare on the line after Yves Lampaert fails with a late breakaway.

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