Sports Personality of the Year winner: Geraint Thomas triumphs after Tour de France success

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Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2018.

The Team Sky rider, 32, became only the third Briton to win the 21-stage race, after Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and four-time Tour champion Chris Froome.

He was the first Welshman to win the Tour as Brits celebrated a sixth win in seven years.

In a public vote, Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton finished second while footballer Harry Kane was third.

Thomas – who was presented with his award by 2017 winner Sir Mo Farah – is the first Welshman to win Sports Personality since footballer Ryan Giggs in 2009.

“I really should have thought about what I was going to say,” a shocked Thomas said.

“I feel very lucky to have come into cycling when I did. I just went down to the local leisure centre for a swim and instead I rode my bike.

“As a bike rider, I always focus on myself. Obviously people want me to win, but hearing stories like Tyson [Fury]’s and Billy [Monger]’s, you realise that what we do does inspire people back home.

“To see people on their bikes and enjoying it, you take just as much pride from that as winning something like this.

“I take great pride in representing Britain and Wales. It has been a great year for British sport and long may it continue.”

Thomas is no stranger to success, having won two Olympic and three world team pursuit titles on the track between 2007 and 2012.

His Tour de France victory came in his ninth appearance – one fewer than the record for most appearances before winning.

He beat Dutchman Tom Dumoulin by one minute 51 seconds to clinch the title earlier this year, with Team Sky team-mate Froome third.

More to follow.

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