British Cycling’s Geraint Thomas has been crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year, topping off a fantastic 2018 for the 32 year-old.
A two-time Olympian on the track, Thomas became the first Welshman to win the Tour de France earlier this year.
The cyclist saw off England football captain Harry Kane (3rd), and F1 star Lewis Hamilton (2nd), to win the BBC award yesterday evening.
Thomas is the fifth cyclist in history to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year, following in the footsteps of previous winners Tommy Simpson, Sir Chris Hoy, Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Julie Harrington, Chief Executive Officer for British Cycling said: “In terms of top level success in 2018, you could argue that this has been one of our most successful years yet, what with Simon Yates and Chris Froome along with Geraint taking victories at Grand Tours, Rachel Atherton winning another world championship title, Kyle Evans and Kye Whyte taking a GB one-two in the BMX at the European Championships and even as recently as this weekend where we saw our able-bodied and para-cycling track cyclists win a total of seven medals at the UCI World Cup in London.
“What Geraint has achieved this year completely encapsulates what we are about – using success to inspire people to get out on their bikes. I’d like to offer my congratulations to Geraint on a brilliant year and thank him for his part in encouraging more people to cycle.”
In his winner’s speech, Thomas thanked his wife, family, coach and British Cycling for their support, and said that he hoped more people would continue to get on their bikes and take up cycling.
Performance director Stephen Park OBE said: “In what has been a fantastic year for the Great Britain Cycling Team in which we have seen over 150 podium finishes at major events across the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines, not to mention three British winners in each of the three Grand Tours, it’s a pleasure to see Geraint crowned as the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
“Everyone involved with the Great Britain Cycling Team felt a sense of pride watching Geraint ride his way to Tour de France victory, he is a true example of how our pathway structure succeeds in developing talented riders into cycling greats. With his results on the road this year and his history of successes of the track, Geraint is an inspiration to many and is deserving of the award.
“On behalf of everyone at British Cycling, I’d like to congratulate Geraint on a successful year and I am sure he will enjoy the celebrations tonight.”