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Geraint Thomas wins Criterium du Dauphiné, final stage to Adam Yates

Team Sky rider is fifth Briton to win week-long race in the French Alps

Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas finished fourth on today’s closing stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné to win the week-long race, with victory on the final stage going to Adam Yates of Mitchelton-Scott.

Thomas, who topped the final general classification by exactly 1 minute from Yates with Romain Bardet of AG2R La Mondiale a further 47 seconds back in third place, is the fifth British winner of the race.

The first was Brian Robinson in 1961, with Robert Millar – now known as Philippa York – triumphing in 1985.

Bradley Wiggins won in 2011 and 2012, while Chris Froome was victorious in 2013, 2015 and 2016., meaning that Thomas’s win today gives Team Sky its sixth overall success in the race.

The 32-year-old’s race had got off to a bad start last Sunday when he crashed during the Prologue, costing the Welsh rider almost half a minute, but a strong team performance in Tuesday’s team time trial put him right back in contention.

Consecutive second places on mountain stages on Friday and Saturday meant that Thomas had an advantage of 1 minute 29 seconds going into today’s 136-kilometre final stage from Moutiers to Saint Gervais.

Despite a puncture ahead of the final climb he rejoined the main contenders group to successfully defend the leader’s jersey, finishing fifth, 19 seconds down on Yates, who also secured 10 bonus seconds.

The Mitchelton-Scott rider attacked a group comprising Thomas, Bardet and the Bora-Hansgrohe rider Emanuel Buchmann with laround 300 metres remaining of the stage.

Coming round the final bend, he caught and passed lone leader Daniel Navarro of Cofiidis, the Spaniard completely out of energy as he tried to hang on for the stage win but managing to secure second place today.

After sealing the overall victory, Thomas said: “It’s incredible, it hasn’t sunk in yet!

"The guys were just incredible, they rode really well for me.

“I was always thinking of the next stage, the next climb and it’s an amazing feeling and I think it will really start to sink in tonight. It’s a massive race and it’s an incredible feeling.

“The puncture didn’t really help and having to chase back on, but the guys were just incredible, they rode really well for me and I had the legs to get back.”

“I was just counting down the kilometres on the last climb and knew I had about 1’20” to lose on Yates so as each kilometre went by I was more confident and happy.

"When they started sprinting with 300m to go I was like, it’s done - finally," said Thomas, who races the Tour de France next month.

He added: “I’m just going to enjoy this win now, rest up and recover and look forward to July."

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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