Team Sky's Geraint Thomas says he can't believe how many people are 'over the moon' with his Tour de France win.
Geraint Thomas was still struggling to take in his achievement after wrapping up his first Tour de France victory on Sunday in Paris.
The Welshman only needed to cross the line in the closing 21st stage on the Champs Elysees and he managed that a few seconds after Norway’s Alexander Kristoff had come out on top in a sprint finish.
Thomas claimed the lead on stage 11 and held off a series of challengers, including team-mate and four-time champion Chris Froome, during three tough stages in the Pyrenees and a gruelling time-trial on Saturday.
Victory had all-but been confirmed after his third place against the clock and Thomas admitted on Saturday that he was already in dreamland, a feeling that had clearly not changed over the proceeding 24 hours.
Thomas told Sky Sports News: “It’s like the stuff of dreams. Normally it’s a really hard stage but I seemed to float around today.
“I was on such a high and I had goosebumps coming on to the Champs Elysees. All the Welsh flags and the support – I’ve won the Tour and how does that happen?
“It’s just been an amazing year and I’ve been riding the crest of a wave. I’m certainly going to enjoy this. This is something I will always remember and always cherish.
“You don’t think about this part. You think about winning and crossing the line in the yellow jersey, but you don’t think about all the people who are going to message you, the kind messages and the random people who are saying they are crying watching you win.
1:35 Geraint Thomas' mum was overcome with emotion as the Tour de France winner's family celebrated in Paris.
“I really appreciate all the support – it’s been a tough Tour at times but the support has outshone any negativity and that means a lot to all of us.
“It’s insane. I just don’t know what to think. You are always thinking about the process and what you are doing from day to day, and you never think about the outcome and the reaction. It all came flooding out from me yesterday. To see everyone, people I don’t even know, over the moon about it is so flattering and incredible.”
He was also full of praise for Froome, who joined him on the podium after finishing third overall, thanking him for the support he had offered since effectively giving up his position as Team Sky leader after struggling during the exacting Pyrenees stages,
Thomas added: “He’s a true gentleman. It could have been awkward with a bit of tension in the team, but there wasn’t any at all.
“We are honest with each other and he committed to me when he had to. Respect to him for that because it must have been hard having a team-mate getting the plaudits and wearing the [yellow] jersey sat on the bus next to him.”