Geraint Thomas wins Tour de France

Geraint Thomas wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey holds the

Geraint Thomas wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey holds the Welsh flag

It's just a dream.

"It's going to take a while to sink in", Thomas said. "You can choose to let it get to you or you can choose to let it motivate you, and we let it motivate us".

"A big thanks to Froomey as well, because he committed to me and was really happy to see me do well". Oh, and my wife.

"Now he's being repaid for all the years of hard work and sacrifice he made for the team".

He increased his lead after the final mountain stage on Friday (Saturday NZT), while Sky teammate and four-time champion Chris Froome lost his spot on the podium.

Despite leading the race, Thomas has insisted that his primary role is to support Froome, and therefore the departure of Moscon is a blow to Froome, with Moscon a key ally during his victory in the 2017 Vuelta a España.

The Welshman only needed to cross the line in the closing 21st stage on the Champs Elysees and he managed that a few seconds after Norway's Alexander Kristoff had come out on top in a sprint finish.

A year after being thrown off the race for causing the crash that ended sprint rival Mark Cavendish's campaign, five-time victor Sagan returned to the Tour looking to equal Erik Zabel's record haul of six victories in the points competition.

Watch how the penultimate stage at the Tour de France unfolded in the highlights video above.

Dumoulin accused the stage victor of drafting behind a motorbike. It could have been awkward with a bit of tension in the team, but there wasn't any at all.

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Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, a one-day classic specialist, confirmed his huge potential by winning two stages and taking the polka dot jersey for the mountains classification.

Thomas leads Sunweb team leader Dumoulin by 1:51 ahead of Sunday's final stage, when the peloton rides from Houilles to Paris in festive spirit before the sprinters take over for a battle on the Champs Elysees.

His track cycling days behind him, Thomas, who lives and trains in Monaco like Froome but often goes back to Wales, started to get decent results in the classics.

And with every visit to Australia, the 33-year-old's popularity has risen.

Obviously it could have got awkward, but (Froome) you've been a great champion and I'll always have respect for you.

This is the ninth Tour for the rider, who first rode it in 2007, when he finished 140th of 141 finishers.

In Victoria, he raced in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, winning a points race bronze medal, while he is certainly "au fait" with Sydney's cycling milieu.

Geraint Thomas (far right) racing in Sydney back in 2006.

Described by his coaches as a dedicated professional with a healthy and a balanced lifestyle, Thomas had already showed enormous skills on the road from winning the Paris-Roubaix junior race in 2004.

Throughout his career, Thomas has been known as an athlete who has kept his feet on the ground. To be in this position now is just incredible.

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