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Tour de France: Froome 'not going anywhere' after loss

30 July 2018

Thomas' nearest challenger Tom Dumoulin claimed victory in the time trial, crossing the line 14 seconds quicker than the Welshman in a time of 40min 52sec.

According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, Tour de France convention dictates that the race leader is never challenged on the final stage.

Thomas had a lead of one minute 51 seconds going into the final and mostly ceremonial stage, and he safely completed it on the Champs-Elysees.

But just like many riders before him -- such as five-time champions Jacques Anquetil or his compatriot Bradley Wiggins -- Thomas gradually shed weight in order to follow the best in the mountains and his progression has been steady, making it little surprise that he paraded with the yellow jersey on his shoulders on the Champs Elysees on Sunday.

"The last time I cried was when I got married and I don't know what's happened to me". "Normally that stage is really hard but today I just seemed to float around it".

"I only have respect for him".

In Froome, Thomas saw innocence, fierce determination and huge talent.

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In winning the second Alpine stage at the summit of La Rosiere, Thomas attacked just as Froome was about to rejoin their small breakaway group.

A former ski jumper who rides for Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, Roglic finished 19 seconds ahead of Thomas, while Romain Bardet of France crossed third with the same time.

"After a hard day yesterday I did not think it was possible", Froome said.

The loss of a rider has tarnished what has been a near ideal Tour de France for the British team so far.

The significance of Chris Froome's short excursion in to a field less than six kilometres from the finish of the opening stage was not immediately apparent - and certainly did nothing to change Team Sky's insistence that he remained the team leader.

"It makes me really proud and I'm glad to be a part of that".

"I'm genuinely happy with my second place", Dumoulin said when asked if he felt frustrated at finishing second.

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Dumoulin, who rides for the Sunweb team, finished his campaign on a high after winning the penultimate stage time trial.

It mattered little, though, as Thomas maintained his lead to end Dumoulin's hopes of wrestling the yellow jersey from the 32-year-old.

While before him Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, or even Chris Froome were not hugely popular in the peloton, Thomas is one of the nice guys of the bunch.

This victory will come in his ninth Tour, one fewer than the record for most appearances before winning, held by 1980 victor Joop Zoetemelk of the Netherlands. "I'm surprising myself on this Tour but we're not in Paris yet".

In 2006, Thomas was the youngest member of the British pursuit team at the world championships; he won the Olympic gold medal alongside Wiggins in 2008; and in 2012, with a second gold medal in the same event, Thomas left track cycling to focus on road racing.

That fourth place finish was enough to see Martin move up one place in the overall classification as he leap-frogged Nario Quintana into eighth place, 6:39 behind Thomas.

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Tour de France: Froome 'not going anywhere' after loss