BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2018: Geraint Thomas profile

Geraint Thomas
Geraint Thomas became the first Welshman to win the Tour de France in 2018
BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year award 2018
Venue: Celtic Manor Resort, Newport Date and time: Tuesday, 4 December at 21:00 GMT
Coverage: Results and updates on BBC Wales Today, the BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru

Geraint Thomas became the first Welshman, and just the third Briton, to claim road cycling's biggest prize when he won the Tour de France in 2018.

After three weeks of gruelling racing, the 32-year-old finished one minute 51 seconds ahead of Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, with Team Sky team-mate and defending champion Chris Froome third.

Thomas posted notice of his good form when he led Team Sky at the Critérium du Dauphiné in June, recovering from a puncture on stage one to claim overall victory in the eight-day race.

That boded well for July's Tour de France, with Thomas a protected rider while Froome retained the leadership of Team Sky.

But Froome suffered from a crash on the opening day and then another in a mass pile-up on the cobbled stage nine.

Thomas had steered clear of trouble and was second after that stage, before taking hold of the race leader's yellow jersey on stage 11.

The Welshman attacked with 6km remaining on the final ascent to the summit finish at La Rosiere in the Alps to finish 20 seconds ahead of Dumoulin and Froome, then cemented his claim on stage 12 when another late surge saw Thomas become the first British rider to win on the fabled peaks of Alpe d'Huez.

Try as he might, four-time winner Froome was unable to close the gap on Dumoulin and eventually had to settle for third, with Thomas taking the glory as the peloton crossed the finishing line in Paris on stage 21.

Thomas went to Whitchurch High School which also produced British and Irish Lions rugby union captain Sam Warburton and fellow Welsh Sports Personality 2018 nominee, Real Madrid footballer Gareth Bale.

Thomas served notice of his talent by winning the Junior World Championships and Paris-Roubaix in 2004, achievements that saw him earned him the Carwyn James Junior Award at the 2004 BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year.

Geraint Thomas with the Wales flag
Geraint Thomas celebrates on the run-in to Paris

Thomas made his Tour de France debut in 2007 - where he was the youngest rider - becoming the first Welshman in 40 years to ride in the Tour, while on the track as part of Great Britain's team pursuit triumphed in the World Championships in Mallorca, Spain.

The following year he set road racing aside to help GB's team pursuit quartet achieve double track gold at the 2008 World Championships and Beijing Olympic Games.

Thomas was appointed an MBE in the 2009 New Year's Honours List and won the British National Road Race title in 2010.

In May 2011, he celebrated his first professional road win in the Tour of Bavaria and the now Team Sky rider wore the white jersey for the top young rider for seven stages during the 2011 Tour de France.

In 2012 GB's team pursuit again claimed both World Championship and Olympic titles, but that signalled a change of emphasis for Thomas to road racing.

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Thomas won bronze in the time trial and then gold in the road race - achievements that saw him voted the 2014 BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year.

The following year Thomas claimed his first Volta ao Algarve title and then became the first British rider to win the 215km E3 Harelbeke race in Belgium, before helping Froome win the Tour de France.

Thomas retained his Volta ao Algarve title in 2016, followed that up by winning Paris-Nice and then helped Froome secure his third Tour de France title. At the Rio Olympics he crashed in the road race when in the hunt for a medal, finishing 11th, and came ninth in the time trial.

In 2017 Thomas became the first Welshman to lead the Tour de France and wear the prestigious leader's yellow jersey, holding onto the yellow jersey for a further three stages. But his hopes evaporated on a mountain descent on stage nine, when he suffered a broken collarbone after being brought down by Polish rider Rafal Majka.

Voting for BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2018 opened at 08:00 GMT on Monday, 26 November and closed at 18:00 GMT on Sunday, 2 December.

Full voting terms and conditions are available on the BBC website and will also be carried on radio and television.

The winner will be unveiled on Tuesday, 4 December.

This event is not connected with the UK Sports Personality of the Year and is for the Wales award only.

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