Chris Froome wins second Tour de France in three years
Andre Greipel of Germany won the 21st and final stage on the Champs-Elysees
Britain’s Chris Froome celebrates with his Sky teammates after winning the Tour de France. Photograph: Laurent Rebours/Reuters
The Kenyan-born 30-year-old won the 102nd Tour by one minute 12 seconds from Nairo Quintana of Colombia.
It meant a third British victory in four years after Bradley Wiggins’ triumph in 2012.
Froome’s defence of the 2013 title ended with a broken hand and fractured wrist 12 months ago, but the Team Sky leader responded by securing the yellow jersey despite Quintana’s late challenge on Saturday.
Andre Greipel of Germany won the 21st and final stage on the Champs-Elysees.
The 109.5-kilometres concluding stage from Sevres to Paris is traditionally a procession and saw Froome sip champagne and pose for photographs with his team-mates.
The only trouble he found on the last day was when a paper bag became caught on his bike, requiring a change, on the penultimate lap of the Champs-Elysees.
Froome, who became the second British winner of the King of the Mountains title in the competition’s 40-year history, still had to complete the last stage to win, but he could avoid the sprinters’ teams battling for position.
He said with a smile after finishing, of the paper bag incident: “I can thank McDonald’s for that one. It was a McDonald’s bag or something. but all’s well that ends well. It’s massive, massive.
“If I think back to where it all began in Holland (the tour started in Utrecht), it just feels as though it was a lifetime ago with the guys.
“Last night we were reflecting on some of the moments. It’s been such a tough Tour, and we were just so happy to come out the way we did.”
Asked what honouring the yellow jersey meant to him, Froome said on ITV4: “It’s pretty straightforward. In this day and age I feel someone needs to speak up for the cyclists of 2015 and of course I’m happy to do that.
“I’m in this position now. Someone’s got to take a stand, it’s time.”
Thomas was a key figure in Team Sky’s success and he said: “It’s an incredible feeling.
“We did it in 2013 — this time it feels even better, maybe because I played more of a role.
“It’s been an amazing three weeks. We pulled well as a team — took all the attacks on and off the bike. It pulled us all together and it’s just an incredible feeling.”
Thomas suggested he would fancy being a team leader for such a grand tour after finishing 15th in the general classification.
“It was so close to being a really good result — even though 15th...I didn’t think I’d be that coming here,” he said.
He suffered a tough day in the mountains on Friday which cost him a top-10 finish, but otherwise rode an outstanding race for the team.
“It was always going to catch up with me. I was hoping it would be on Monday, not on Friday,” said Thomas.
“It’s certainly given me a lot of confidence and encouragement for the future, and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I think if I was leader here I’d run the podium close, if I wasn’t doing so much early on.
“That’s easy to say though. It’s certainly something I’d like to look at.”