British Cycling’s Geraint Thomas has topped off a fantastic 2018 by being crowned as the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
The 32-year-old professional cyclist saw off the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Harry Kane to win the prestigious award in front of a packed audience at the Genting Arena in Birmingham this evening.
As a two-time Olympic champion on the track, Thomas consolidated his impressive palmares in July this year by becoming the first Welshman to win the Tour de France.
Thomas becomes the fifth cyclist in history to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, with Tommy Simpson (1965), Sir Chris Hoy (2008), Mark Cavendish (2011) and Sir Bradley Wiggins (2012) having also won the accolade since the awards began.
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.”
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.”