GERAINT THOMAS: One of the boyos

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@chrisfroome/Twitter
G WHIZZ: Thomas and Froome cruise to the finish line.

GERAINT Thomas became the third Briton to win the Tour de France when he crossed the line in Paris.

The Team Sky rider, 32, follows Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and four-time Tour champion Chris Froome as Britain celebrates a sixth win in seven years.

Alexander Kristoff won the final sprint finish on the Champs-Elysees as Thomas crossed the line arm-in-arm with Froome after three weeks of racing.

He beat Dutchman Tom Dumoulin by one minute 51 seconds, with Froome third.

The Welshman, who rode in support of Froome in each of his four wins, had built up that lead over the previous 20 stages, and Tour convention dictates that the yellow jersey is not challenged on the final stage.

“When I rode on the Champs-Elysees for the first time in 2007, that was insane, just to finish the race and be a part of it,” said Thomas.

“I seem to be floating around on cloud nine. Maybe when I’m 70, sat in a corner of a pub telling some 18 year-old what I used to be, it will sink in.

“It’s incredible, the stuff of dreams.”

Froome was the heavy favourite to become the fifth rider to win a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title.

However, he had never before ridden the Giro d’Italia in the same year and it seemed to sap his energy levels in the Pyrenees mountains, as Thomas proved the stronger rider.

Thomas’ victory comes in his ninth Tour and cements his place among Britain’s greatest cyclists.

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