Tour de France 2019 teams and riders: What are Team Sky now? What is the Team Ineos kit?

4 Jul

The teams and riders for the 2019 Tour de France have been confirmed with last year’s winner Geraint Thomas looking to keep that yellow jersey.

There will be 22 teams taking part in the 106th edition of the famous race with each naming eight-man squads.

Britain’s Geraint Thomas will be riding for Team Ineos in the Tour de France

Team Sky, who Thomas won with last summer, have been renamed as Team Ineos and will be competing in burgundy and black kits.

Astana Pro Team star Jakob Fuglsang will be riding in light blue while Trek-Segafredo’s Richie Porte will be in orange, white and black.

The Movistar Team, who have high hopes for Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa Meana, will be in light blue and black kits.

Geraint Thomas won the Tour de France last summer

The race gets under way in Brussels, Belgium on Saturday, July 6 to embark on 21 stages over 23 days before the final race onto the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday, July 28.

As well as Thomas, British riders include Luke Rowe, Simon Yates, Alex Dowsett and Stephen Cummings but there is no Chris Froome (injury) or Mark Cavendish (selection).

Here’s the full rundown of the teams and riders for the 2019 Tour de France:

Team Ineos

Geraint Thomas, Egan Arley Bernal Gomez, Nicolas Jonathan Castroviejo, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Wout Poels, Luke Rowe, Dylan Van Baarle, (S) Salvatore Puccio, (S) Ian Stannard

Bora – Hansgrohe

Peter Sagan, Emanuel Buchmann, Marcus Burghardt, Patrick Konrad, Gregor Muhlberger, Daniel Oss, Lukas Postlberger, Maximilian Schachmann, (S) Sam Bennett, (S) Maciej Bodnar

Deceuninck – Quick – Step

Julian Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen, Dries Devenyns, Yves Lampaert, Enric Mas Nicolau, Michael Morkov, Maximiliano Ariel Richeze, Elia Viviani, (S) Philippe Gilbert, (S) Fabio Jakobsen

Ag2r La Mondiale

Romain Bardet, Mikael Cherel, Benoit Cosnefroy, Mathias Frank, Tony Gallopin, Alexis Gougeard, Oliver Naesen, Alexis Vuillermoz, (S) Clement Venturini, (S) Pierre Latour

Bahrain – Merida

Vincenzo Nibali, Damiano Caruso, Sonny Colbrelli, Rohan Dennis, Ivan Garcia Cortina, Matej Mohoric, Dylan Teuns, Jan Tratnik, (S) Mark Padun, (S) Yukiya Arashiro

Groupama – Fdj

Thibaut Pinot, William Bonnet, David Gaudu, Stefan Kung, Matthieu Ladagnous, Rudy Molard, Sebastien Reichenbach, Anthony Roux, (S) Tobias Ludvigsson, (S) Steve Morabito

Movistar Team

Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, Andrey Amador, Imanol Erviti, Mikel Landa Meana, Nelson Oliveira, Marc Soler, Carlos Verona Quintanilla, (S) Jurgen Roelandts, (S) Winner Andrew Anacona

Astana Pro Team

Jakob Fuglsang, Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia, Omar Fraile Matarranz, Hugo Houle, Gorka Izaguirre Insausti, Alexey Lutsenko, Magnus Cort Nielsen, Luis Leon Sanchez, (S) Davide Ballerini, (S) Merhawi Kudus

Team Jumbo – Visma

Steven Kruijswijk, George Bennett, Laurens De Plus, Dylan Groenewegen, Amund Grondahl Jansen, Tony Martin, Mike Teunissen, Wout Van Aert, (S) Taco Van Der Hoorn, (S) Lennard Hofstede

Ef Education First

Rigoberto Uran, Niccolo Bonifazio, Simon Clarke, Tanel Kangert, Sebastian Langeveld, Tom Scully, Tejay Van Garderen, Michael Woods, (S) Mitchell Docker, (S) G Lawson Craddock

Mitchelton – Scott

Simon Yates, Luke Durbridge, Jack Haig, Michael Hepburn, Daryl Impey, Christopher Juul Jensen, Matteo Trentin, Simon Yates, (S) Mikel Nieve Iturralde, (S) Damien Howson

Ccc Team

Greg Van Avermaet, Patrick Bevin, Alessandro De Marchi, Simon Geschke, Serge Pauwels, Joseph Rosskopf, Michael Schar, Lukasz Wisniowski, (S) Jonas Koch, (S) Nathan Van Hooydonck

Uae Team Emirates

Daniel Martin, Fabio Aru, Sven Erik Bystrom, Rui Costa, Sergio Luis Henao Montoya, Alexander Kristoff, Vegard Stake Laengen, Jasper Philipsen, (S) Oliviero Troia, (S) Aleksandr Riabushenko

Trek – Segafredo

Richie Porte, Julien Bernard, Giulio Ciccone, Koen De Kort, Fabio Felline, Bauke Mollema, Toms Skujins, Jasper Stuyven, (S) Gianluca Brambilla, (S) Edward Theuns

Team Sunweb

Michael Matthews, Nikias Arndt, Cees Bol, Chad Haga, Lennard Kamna, Wilco Kelderman, Soren Kragh Andersen, Nicolas Roche, (S) Rob Power, (S) Martijn Tusveld

Cofidis, Solutions Credits

Christophe Laporte, Natnael Berhane, Nicolas Edet, Jesus Herrada, Anthony Perez, Pierre Luc Perichon, Stephane Rossetto, Julien Simon, (S) Damien Touze, (S) Jesper Hansen

Lotto Soudal

Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst, Thomas De Gendt, Caleb Ewan, Jens Keukeleire, Roger Kluge, Maxime Monfort, Tim Wellens, (S) Jelle Wallays, (S) Nikolas Maes

Total Direct Energie

Lilian Calmejane, Niccolo Bonifazio, Fabien Grellier, Paul Ourselin, Romain Sicard, Rein Taaramae, Niki Terpstra, Anthony Turgis, (S) Thomas Boudat, (S) Adrien Petit

Team Katusha Alpecin

Ilnur Zakarin, Jens Debusschere, Alex Dowsett, Jose Goncalves, Marco Haller, Nils Politt, Mads Schmidt Wurtz, Rick Zabel, (S) Nathan Haas, (S) Viacheslav Kuznetsov

Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team

Guillaume Martin, Frederik Backaert, Aime De Gendt, Odd Christian Eiking, Xandro Meurisse, Andrea Pasqualon, Kevin Van Melsen, Loic Vliegen, (S) Fabien Doubey, (S) Marco Minnaard

Team Dimension Data

Edvald Boasson Hagen, Michael Valgren, Lars Bak Ytting, Stephen Cummings, Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg, Benjamin King, Roman Kreuziger, Giacomo Nizzolo, (S) Mark Cavendish, (S) Julien Vermote

Team Arkea – Samsic

Warren Barguil, Maxime Bouet, Anthony Delaplace, Elie Gesbert, Andre Greipel, Kevin Ledanois, Amael Moinard, Florian Vachon, (S) Romain Hardy, (S) Clement Russo

Tour de France route 2019 in full: When does it start? What are the stages? Is it in England?

4 Jul

The 2019 Tour de France is now under way with 23 days of gruelling action in store.

The world’s best cyclists will go head-to-head over 21 intense stages of the famous race as they look to claim the iconic yellow jersey.

Geraint Thomas won the Tour de France last summer

Great Britain star Geraint Thomas secured glory last summer and he will head up the newly-formed Team Ineos (previously Team Sky) this time.

The race will not head to England this year and instead starts with two stages in Belgium before heading into France for the most famous stretches.

It will all then culminate with the traditional trip down the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday 28 July.

Geraint Thomas celebrates his yellow jersey win with Chris Froome last summer

Along the way, riders will compete in one individual time-trial, one team time-trial and seven flat stages.

There will then be five ‘hilly’ stages and seven torturous mountain stints with just two rest days breaking it all up.

Here’s a rundown of the full race for the 2019 Tour de France:

Stage 1: Saturday, July 6, 194.5KM, Bruxelles – Brussel, flat

Stage 2: July 7, 27.6KM, Bruxelles Palais Royal – Brussel Atomium, team time-trial

Stage 3: July 8, 215KM, Binche – Epernay, hilly

Stage 4: July 9, 213.5KM, Reims – Nancy, flat

Stage 5: July 10, 175.5KM, Saint-Die-Des-Vosges – Colmar, hilly

Stage 6: July 11, 160.5KM, Mulhouse – La Planche Des Belles Filles, mountain

Stage 7: July 12, 230KM, Belfort – Chalon-Sur-Saone, flat

Stage 8: July 13, 200KM, Macon – Saint-Etienne, hilly

Stage 9: July 14, 170.5KM, Saint-Etienne – Brioude, hilly

Stage 10: July 15, 217.5KM, Saint-Flour – Albi, flat

Rest Day: July 16, Albi

Mark Cavendish will not race in the Tour de France for the first time since 2007
Getty Images - Getty

Stage 11: July 17, 167KM, Albi – Toulouse, flat

Stage 12: July 18, 209.5KM, Toulouse – Bagneres-De-Bigorre, mountain

Stage 13: July 19, 27.2KM, Pau – Pau, individual time-trail

Stage 14: July 20, 117.5KM, Tarbes – Tourmalet Bareges, mountain

Stage 15: July 21, 185KM, Limoux – Foix Prat D’albis, mountain

Rest Day, July 22, Nimes

Stage 16: July 23, 177KM, Nimes – Nimes, flat

Stage 17: July 24, 200KM, Pont Du Gard – Gap, hilly

Stage 18: July 25, 208KM, Embrun – Valloire, mountain

Stage 19: July 26, 126.5KM, Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne – Tignes, mountain

Stage 20: July 27, 130KM, Albertville – Val Thorens, mountain

Stage 21: July 28, 128KM, Rambouillet – Paris Champs-Elysees, flat

Tour de France 2019 jerseys: What do the yellow, green and polka dot shirts mean?

4 Jul

The world best’s cyclists will put their skills to the test in the 106th edition of the famous Tour de France this month.

Great Britain star Geraint Thomas won the 2018 title and he heads up another stellar field of riders for the 2019 event.

The race gets under way in Belgium on Saturday ahead of 21 gruelling stages through the mountains of France.

Britain’s Geraint Thomas won the famous yellow jersey at the Tour de France in 2018

All the competitors will be dreaming of riding down Paris’ iconic Champs-Elysees wearing the yellow jersey and sipping champagne on their way to glory.

While the yellow top is the prestigious award on offer, there are several others riders will be looking to claim.

Points, times and terrain will all determine who gets to wear the famous coloured shirts and here’s what they all mean.

Yellow Jersey

The Yellow Jersey is one of the most iconic sporting trophies in the world.

It is won by the rider who leads the General Classification and stands above the other jerseys awarded.

After each of stage of the race, the jersey goes to the overall leader with the fastest time who will then don it for the following stage. As it’s based on time and not points, the yellow is not always giving to that day’s winner.

Green Jersey

This jersey is awarded to the leader of the Points Classification as riders battle it out in intermediate sprints that come mid-stage.

The points differ due to what stage it is and most points are won at the end of each stage.

The four most prestigious jerseys up for grabs at the Tour de France

Polka Dot Jersey

In a true test of endurance and pain, the polka dot jersey goes to the ‘King of the Mountains’.

It is won by the leader of the Mountains Classification as riders strive to reach the summit of designated climbs on each stage first.

White Jersey

The white jersey is basically awarded to the best young rider with the lowest overall time.

It goes to the overall General Classification leader who is 25 years old or younger.

Team Sky: Chris Froome chooses not to defend Giro d’Italia title to focus on Tour de France – but what does it mean for Geraint Thomas?

1 Jan

Team Sky team-mates Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas will both target the Tour de France in 2019.

Four-time champion Froome has decided not to defend his Giro d’Italia title this season to instead focus on winning a record-equalling fifth Tour crown.

Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome will go head-to-head at this year’s Tour de France

It reads as bad news for Thomas, who also plans to compete for the yellow jersey in France having won the race for the first time in the summer.

The Welshman was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year last month after becoming the third Brit to win the iconic race.

It also meant the Tour de France was won by a Brit for the SIXTH time in seven years, since Sir Bradley Wiggins become the first Britain to win the race in 2012.

MORE IN CYCLING: Sir Bradley Wiggins tells talkSPORT cycling could suffer if Team Sky folds

But he will have to compete with team-mate Froome this year, with young Colombian Egan Bernal set to lead Team Sky at the Giro d’Italia instead.

Froome said: “I’m getting to the point in my career now where I’m starting to think about what kind of legacy I want to leave behind and if I am able to win the Tour de France for a fifth time and join that very elite group of bike riders – only four other people have ever done that – it would just be incredible.”

Froome has four Tour de France titles and wants to add a fifth

Thomas added: “Maybe if I hadn’t have won the Tour in 2018 I might have looked at a Giro/Vuelta programme but, having won the Tour, I’ll have the number one on my back and it would be sad not to go back and not to go back at 100 per cent as well.”

Thomas won the Tour in July despite Froome starting the race as Team Sky’s leader, with the Welshman proving the stronger of the two after Froome’s exploits in winning the Giro a little over a month earlier.

Geraint Thomas celebrates his yellow jersey win with Froome, who placed third in the race

Froome, 33, needs one more Tour title to match the record jointly held by cycling legends Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, Miguel Indurain and Bernard Hinault.

Colombian Bernal secured a 15th-placed finish in last year’s Tour riding in support of Thomas and Froome, and is viewed as one of the sport’s brightest prospects.

“The Giro is a race that I really, really like,” the 21-year-old said.

“I lived in Italy for three years, so I have a lot of friends there and I really like the Italian fans. I know the roads, I really like the Giro, and I want to do a good race there.”

Team Sky’s riders go into the season facing an uncertain future with the broadcaster due to end its investment in the sport after the coming season.

Sir Bradley Wiggins tells talkSPORT cycling could suffer if Team Sky folds – ‘We may not see anything like this again’

20 Dec

Sir Bradley Wiggins has told talkSPORT that Team Sky’s departure could have a detrimental effect on cycling and has warned those against the British team to ‘be careful what you wish for’.

The broadcasting giant revealed last week that 2019 would be Team Sky’s final year in competition after deciding to end their involvement in professional cycling.

Team Sky have enjoyed an unprecedented era of British success in the sport – boasting six Tour de France titles in seven years from Wiggins (one), Chris Froome (four) and this year Geraint Thomas (one).

Team Sky celebrate Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France win earlier this year

Their decision to pull their sponsorship was met with cheers in some quarters – some cycling purists around Europe have been against Sky’s influence on the sport, with the team’s dominance akin to Manchester City’s in English football, feeling money buys success.

But Wiggins, speaking for the first time about his former team’s news, believes the departure of such a big company and financial backer is not good news for the future of cycling.

Great Britian’s most decorated Olympian told Jim White: “People need to be careful what they wish for because if Sky go now the sport will be worse off for it.

Wiggins became the first Brit to win the Tour de France in 2012, and won Olympic gold later that summer at London 2012

“Cycling won’t disintegrate but it won’t have the profile it has enjoyed now. This day was always going to happen because the sport is so backward in some ways, the people that run it.

“It’s not corrupt but it’s so backward. There’s no money in the sport.

“Rather than be grateful for a company like Sky, people just hammered it.

“A sponsor as big as Sky, which have put so much into cycling and done so much for cycling, they should be thanked for the level they’ve helped the sport.

“Obviously there is Dave Brailsford and the generation of cyclists, but Sky have played a huge part in their success and the amount money they put into the team over the last ten years – £150million and maybe more.

“It’s incredible, and the timing of that with the timing of cyclists and what Dave wanted to do, we may not ever see it again.

Team Sky boss Brailsford has masterminded Team Sky’s success

“I can’t envisage a company the size of Sky coming in and doing that for cycling again.

“So to replace them in order to carry on and cover the wage bill and budget for the next few years will be a tough thing to find.”

Listen back to Sir Bradley Wiggins on talkSPORT in full above!

Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas’ Team Sky announce 2019 will be final year in cycling

12 Dec

Team Sky have announced 2019 will be their final year in cycling.

The British broadcaster, together with minority stake holder 21st Century Fox, will end its involvement in cycling next year after more than a decade of backing.

Team Sky celebrate Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France win earlier this year

The decision will bring to a conclusion Sky’s ownership and sponsorship of Team Sky, which current features British stars Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas,  which will continue to race under a different name if a new backer is secured to provide funding from the beginning of 2020.

The team will compete as Team Sky for the last time during the 2019 road racing season.

Team Sky have won 322 races including eight Grand Tours, 52 other stage races and 25 one-day races.

Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first Brit to win the Tour de France in 2012, and won road race gold at the London Olympics just weeks later

Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford has over seen unprecedented success for Britain on the road cycling circuit, boasting six Tour de France titles in seven years from Sir Bradley Wiggins (one), Chris Froome (four) and this year Geraint Thomas (one).

Froome also won the Vuelta a Espana in 2017 and Giro d’Italia in 2018 to complete the set of prestigious Grand Tours.

Froome has won six Grand Tour crowns with Team Sky, including Tour de France titles

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “While Sky will be moving on at the end of next year, the team is open minded about the future and the potential of working with a new partner, should the right opportunity present itself.

“For now, I would like to thank all Team Sky riders and staff, past and present – and above all the fans who have supported us on this adventure.

“We aren’t finished yet by any means. There is another exciting year of racing ahead of us and we will be doing everything we can to deliver more Team Sky success in 2019.”

Geraint Thomas signs new three-year deal with Team Sky

9 Sep

Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas has signed a new three-year contract with Team Sky.

The British squad announced that the 32-year-old will stick with the team he joined from their inception in 2010, until 2021.

Thomas won the 2018 Tour de France

Thomas told “I’m pleased it’s sorted – and delighted to be staying with the team.”

The announcement was made ahead of the final stage of the Tour of Britain, which Thomas has been riding this week.

The Cardiff rider has long been a key lieutenant for Team Sky, but succeeded Chris Froome as Tour champion in July as he realised his own potential in the sport’s biggest race.

“It really is one big happy family where my relationship with Team Sky is concerned, so I couldn’t be more delighted,” Thomas added.

“It’s been a great journey for me with Team Sky and obviously the last few months have been crazy.

“It’s working really well for me here and I’m excited about what’s still to come.”

Geraint Thomas admits he could sit out Vuelta a Espana after Tour de France victory

31 Jul

Geraint Thomas has admitted he could sit out this year’s Vuelta a Espana after winning the Tour de France.

Thomas, the Team Sky rider, was crowned general classification victor on Sunday, becoming the first ever Welshman to win Le Tour.

Thomas has become a celebrity almost overnight

The 32-year-old earned the yellow jersey for the first time by winning stage 11, and he held it for the remaining 10 stages to wrap up the biggest success of his career.

Thomas was due to take part in the Vuelta a Espana, an event in which he has competed just once, but he now appears likely to miss the three week event.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Thomas admitted he can’t see himself taking part in the Vuelta, which begins towards the end of next month.

“I’ll just sort of chill out a bit, really,” Thomas replied, when asked about his plans for the coming months.

“I’ll still ride my bike most days, as the season is still ongoing – it doesn’t finish until October.

“I need to sit down with the team and plan the races until the end of the season.

“I was down to do the Vuelta, the tour of Spain, which is another three week race, but I don’t think that’s going to happen now.”

Winning Le Tour is by far the greatest achievement in Thomas’ career, having also won three World Championships and two Olympic gold medals.

The Cardiff-born rider has become a celebrity almost overnight, and he admitted it was ‘surreal’ to be congratulated by some of his heroes from the world of sport and entertainment.

“It was insane,” he continued. “I had a video message off Thierry Henry, and then when we were sat in the airport waiting to fly to London I spoke to Arsene Wenger on the phone.

“It was just so surreal.

The Welshman first claimed the yellow jersey after winning stage 11

“The team got a few ‘well done’ messages put together for me, from people like Dan Carter, Rob Brydon, Lee Dixon… it’s just bonkers.

“These are people who, when I was a kid, I was growing up watching and who inspired me, and then they’re saying ‘well done’ and how they’ve enjoyed watching me.”

Geraint Thomas promises ‘big party’ after sealing 2018 Tour de France title

29 Jul

Geraint Thomas has won the 2018 Tour de France – savouring his victory with a glass of champagne on the road in to Paris on Sunday.

The win was all-but wrapped up following Thomas’ successful time trial on Saturday so the Team Sky rider posed with his team-mates while carrying the Welsh flag on the 116km stage from Houilles.

Thomas then posed for pictures with his team at the end of the race

Alexander Kristoff took victory in the final sprint on the Champs-Elysees beofre Thomas crossed the line alongside Chris Froome to confirm his final margin of victory at one minute 51 seconds over Team Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin, with Froome a further 33 seconds back in third place.

The third Briton to win the Tour did not start the race as either a favourite or the leader of his own team.

Though he had led Froome by more than a minute and a half after his victory on stage 12 to Alpe d’Huez, Thomas revealed he was only fully handed the leadership of the team after the four-time winner faltered on stage 17 to fall even further back just days before Paris.

“The real defining moment was when he had his bad day (on stage 17), but at the same time I was always allowed my own freedom,” the Welshman said.

Thomas shares a loving embrace with his wife Sarah-Ellen

“It wasn’t like I had to work for him as a domestique. Obviously the guys were riding for Froomey and I just stayed with them. I was the back-up leader and if I was good, I was good and I would stay in front.”

In a race that saw several contenders lose time to mishaps, Thomas stayed out of trouble and was able to stamp his authority on the race more and more as it went on, while Froome had been put on the back foot from the opening stage when a late excursion into a field cost him 51 seconds.

Although Thomas was a protected rider in the team, Sky continued to insist Froome was their leader and Thomas himself was still making the point even after his victory on Alpe d’Huez in the middle week put him one minute 39 seconds clear of his team-mate.

Froome never recovered from that opening-day tumble, but Thomas said he was always waiting for the Alps to settle the leadership question.

Thomas admitted the Team Sky strategy was originally to get Chris Froome to win the Tour

“I guess it (helped),” he said of Froome’s time loss. “But he was still looking to win the race. It was all about seeing how the Alps went and letting the road decide. As it turned out, after the Alps we were still both in a really good position.”

The 51 seconds were useful, but Thomas found other ways to pick up time on Froome and everybody else throughout the race. In total he picked up 33 bonus seconds, 20 of them from his two stage wins, with the rest coming through bonus sprints or lower placings.

“The two and the one (bonus seconds) in the first week were there, so why not take them?” he said. “When it came to the last mountain-top finish in the Pyrenees, when Froomey was dropped, it was just about stamping my authority on it.

“I just kept picking them up when I could, and just racing.”

Thomas got to savour the rewards on Sunday – and he has plans for plenty more of the same.

“I’m going to have a big party for a couple of weeks,” he said. “Maybe even a month.”

Geraint Thomas has Tour de France all-but wrapped up after successful time trial

28 Jul

Geraint Thomas is on the verge of winning the Tour de France after managing to protect his yellow jersey in the stage 20 time trial.

The Team Sky rider finished the Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle to Espelette stage with a lead of one minute and 51 seconds after coming third on the road.

Thomas has a commanding lead going into the final stage which is largely ceremonial

His closest rival in the general classification, Tom Dumoulin, won the stage by one second from Chris Froome and 14 seconds from Thomas, but the world time trial champion never looked like putting Thomas’ comfortable cushion in danger.

Thomas will become the third British winner of the race, joining Sir Bradley Wiggins and Froome, and it will mean the trio have won six of the last seven editions, all in Team Sky colours.

Froome’s performance was enough to put him back on the podium and he will finish third overall, having overhauled LottoNL-Jumbo’s Primoz Roglic on the stage.

Froome had started the Tour looking for a record-equalling fifth Tour title and seeking a rare Giro-Tour double, but he found that attempting to win a fourth consecutive Grand Tour was a step too far.

Thomas looks set to become the third British winner of the race

Thomas emulates Wiggins in converting himself from an Olympic team pursuit champion into the winner of the world’s biggest road race.

The 32-year-old had never before finished in the top 10 of a Grand Tour. In his only previous serious attempt to win one, he was forced to withdraw following a crash midway through last year’s Giro d’Italia.

Though Team Sky have faced ill-feeling on the French roadside once again in this Tour, Thomas is a popular figure in the world of cycling and victory for a man so long accustomed to playing a supporting role for others will be celebrated far and wide.

Thomas had survived Friday’s big test, a 200.5-kilometre stage from Lourdes to Laruns which took the peloton over three of the toughest Pyrenean climbs – the Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque. He started the time trial knowing his buffer would be enough if he could avoid incident.

Intermittent rain, the first significant downfall of the entire Tour, created unpredictable conditions on Saturday’s 31km course. There was one significant scare for Thomas with around 19km to go when the bike almost slipped from underneath him on a right-hand bend.

Thomas may have known he had a buffer to play with but he was not taking it easy as he was fastest through the first and second splits before grinding up the Col de Pinodieta and dropping back.

Dumoulin had to console himself with his third career Tour stage win – all of which have come in individual time trials.

The Team Sunweb rider’s day did not get off to an ideal start when he could not find his time trial skin suit in the morning.

But with his clothing sponsor based just across the Spanish border in San Sebastian, an emergency call was placed and they whipped him up a new set of the world champion’s rainbow stripes in time.

Irishman Dan Martin shipped more than two minutes in the time trial but the UAE Team Emirates rider – named the most combative in the Tour overall – did enough to protect his top 10 place as he is set to finish eighth overall.