Last weekend saw Birchgrove’s own Geraint Thomas cycle to victory along the Champs-Élysées. Support and congratulations from fellow cyclists, famous faces and fans across Wales have been seen everywhere since Geraint’s win – even through a campaign to turn postboxes in Cardiff yellow, much like the gold post boxes for the hometowns of Olympic champions in 2012, writes Alys Jones.
First Minister Carwyn Jones called Geraint’s Tour De France win “the greatest individual performance by a Welsh sports star”, promising that there will “definitely” be a celebration of his achievement.
— Sam Warburton (@samwarburton_) July 28, 2018
The Independent’s Lawrence Ostlere praised Geraint’s performance under pressure: “He snatched every available second, each a small but significant psychological blow, never taking his foot off the throttle.” Though he writes that the popularity of his win is ultimately down to Geraint’s down-to-earth personality, being a “nice bloke who rides a bike”.
If you’re lucky enough to call him a friend, there’s someone there that’ll always have your back. Not one person that knows @GeraintThomas86 doesn’t know how much he deserves this. His loyalty & work ethic is something to aspire to in life, not just cycling. So proud of you mate. pic.twitter.com/VuWf1wwipa
— Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish) July 28, 2018
Former Tour De France winner Bradley Wiggins knows what comes with winning such a prestigious title, saying that this will change Geraint’s life: “He won’t be able to walk down the street in Wales now without people coming up to him”, adding that he thinks Geraint “may now be Wales’ biggest sports star.”
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) July 29, 2018
France 24’s Tracy McNicoll wishes Geraint a big “llongyfarchiadau”, calling him a “loyal and tireless” sportsman, whose title as the first Welshman to win the Tour De France and recent Critérium du Dauphiné victory shows that 2018 is his “year to shine”.
Geraint attended Whitchurch High School, the local school which has taught other sporting greats Gareth Bale and Sam Warburton. Speaking about the secret to producing so many successful sportsmen from one school, PE teacher Steve Williams joked, “We don’t have any special water here if that is what you mean!” He added, “All we can do is provide the environment. The school stands for sport as well as academic achievement. We feel encouragement has always been here. They have grown up in a place where sport means something in this school and always has, going back to 1937 when it started.”