Geraint Thomas struggled to find the words for his "insane" Tour de France triumph as he took a handsome lead into the final stage.
Team Sky's Thomas lost only 14 seconds to nearest challenger Tom Dumoulin, who claimed victory in Saturday's time trial, and the Welshman will now claim a first Grand Tour title, barring an extraordinary development on Sunday when the peloton will enjoy a processional ride into Paris.
And, having repeatedly played down talk of winning the race throughout, despite holding the lead since stage 11, Thomas — a minute and 51 seconds ahead — was able to finally express his delight at the finish line.
READ: Thomas all but secures Tour de France title
"I'm really trying not to cry. It's unbelievable. I tried not to think about it, just take it day by day. I've won the Tour de France, man, I don't know what to say," Thomas told ITV .
"When I had a wobble on that corner [early in the stage], I thought, 'chill out a bit'. [Sky sporting director] Nico Portal was on the radio and told me to make sure I win the Tour, don't risk anything."
"I didn't think the course was too technical but then every corner seemed like a 180-degree turn. I felt good today and started putting the power down but then took every corner super slow."
"I can finally let the emotion come. The last time I cried was at my wedding; I don't know what happened then, at least I know what's happening now. It's insane, man. The Tour de France! I can't believe it."
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