"It's just insane." That was Geraint Thomas's reaction to winning the Tour de France today as the race ended in Paris.
Standing on the top step of the podium on the Champs-Elysees, wearing the yellow jersey albeit mostly obscured by the Welsh flag, the 32-year-old from Cardiff reflected on three weeks that have catapulted him into sporting stardom.
"I’ve not got a good track record with speeches so I’ll keep it short," he said. "I just want to say thanks to the team, they’ve just been incredible for the whole three weeks."
Addressing Chris Froome, standing to his left on the third step of the podium, Thomas said: "Big respect to Froomey, obviously it could have got awkward, there could have been tension, but you’ve been a great champion and I’ll always have respect for you.
"I’m pretty tired," he continued. "Just the whole team was incredible, the staff as well.
"I got into cycling because of this race. I remember running home from school to watch it. The dream was always just to be a part of it.
"Now I'm here in the yellow jersey it’s just insane. It’s a dream come true. Massive respect to [runner-up] Tom [Dumoulin] as well and all my rivals. It’s just a dream."
At times during this year's race, Team Sky had a torrid time from roadside spectators, ut Thomas said: "I just want to say a final thanks to the crowd. You’ve just been amazing. The amount of support I’ve got.
"Oh, and my wife," he added.
Thomas concluded: "Kids, just dream big. If people tell you it can’t be done, keep going and believe in yourself. With hard work, everything pays off in the end.
"Thanks, you’ve been amazing. Thank you very much and vive le Tour!"
And with those words, he became the first Tour de France champion to do a mic drop on the podium.
Simon joined road.cc 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.