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Geraint Thomas crowned Sports Personality of the Year 2018

Joe Robinson
17 Dec 2018

Welshman beats Lewis Hamilton and Harry Kane to prize following Tour de France success

Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas has been crowned BBC's Sports Personality of the Year 2018 becoming the fourth cyclist to win the title in the last decade.

In the public vote, the Welshman pipped five-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton and football World Cup Golden Boot and semi-finalist Harry Kane to the accolade thanks to a year that also included victories at the Time Trial National Championships and the Criterium du Dauphine.

Thomas was presented the award by 2017 winner Sir Mo Farah on the Resorts World Arena stage in Birmingham last night with the 32-year-old taking the time to appreciate how people are inspired by his success during his victory speech. 

'I really should have thought about what I was going to say, I feel very lucky to have come into cycling when I did. I just went down to the local leisure centre for a swim and instead, I rode my bike,' said Thomas.

'As a bike rider, I always focus on myself. Obviously, people want me to win, but hearing stories like Tyson [Fury]'s and Billy [Monger]'s, you realise that what we do does inspire people back home. To see people on their bikes and enjoying it, you take just as much pride from that as winning something like this.'

Thomas became the fourth cyclist in ten years to be presented with the award in what has been a dominant decade for British cycling.

Sir Chris Hoy took away the title 2008 following Olympic success in Beijing that summer while Mark Cavendish took the prize after becoming World Champion in 2011.

A maiden Tour title and Olympic gold medal then saw Bradley Wiggins voted champion in 2012.

Thomas now joins this select group of cyclists to have won the award which also includes Tom Simpson, who took the prize back in 1965. 

The win came after a year that saw Thomas become the first Welshman to take the yellow jersey. En route to yellow, Thomas took back-to-back mountain top stage victories, including Alpe d'Huez, while also wearing yellow for the final 11 days of the race.

While Thomas was celebrated for his deserved victory at last year's awards, little time was sparred to remember the resounding success of Thomas's colleagues who helped create cycling history this season, in the form of teammate Chris Froome and Mitchelton-Scott's Simon Yates.

Neither was among the list of six shortlisted athletes nominated for the award despite respective success at the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana. This accounts for a sixth season in which Froome has tasted Grand Tour success without as much as a podium at the coveted award.