Froome knocked off bike by Tour policeman

What a day Geraint Thomas in the yellow jersey celebrates on the podium on Saturday

Wales is swapping the red and green of its flag for yellow - as Geraint Thomas is set to become the first ever Welshman to win the Tour de France.

He took second place in the 31-km time trial, from Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle, won by a solitary second by time-trial world champion Tom Dumoulin, with Thomas coming home third, 14 seconds off the pace.

Thomas will take a lead of one minute and 51 seconds into Sunday's final stage to Paris, which is traditionally a procession.

Only two challenging stages remain - a lengthy leg through the Pyrenees on Friday that includes three major climbs and a technical individual time trial Saturday - before the mostly ceremonial finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday.

It is a remarkable achievement by Thomas, not least because it was never really the intention of anyone at Sky to propel him to such sporting stardom when their eight riders were presented to a rather hostile crowd in the Vendee three weeks ago. I tried not to think about it, just take it day by day.

Sure, the crash Froome endured on that opening day handed Thomas an immediate advantage.

"It's been an incredibly testing Tour de France for me", Craddock said. "I heard I was up and maybe I was pushing it a bit hard on some of those corners", Thomas said.

Geraint Thomas says it is an "amazing feeling" to have all but assured himself of a maiden victory in the Tour de France.

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Dumoulin, the defending world time trial champion and last year's Giro d'Italia victor, praised an otherwise impressive performance by Roglic.

The move hurt Froome, however, as the four-time Tour champion cracked before the top, only managing to come back in the short descent leading up to the Aubisque, where Bardet and Landa were caught by Thomas and the other top favourites. "I'm really sick of it, it doesn't make sense".

Thomas was asked if six Sky wins in seven years was a "problem" for the event.

"It hurt me enormously", Demare said.

When a man is only 1:51 off winning the Tour de France after three weeks and nearly 3,250 kilometres of racing, it's tempting to dwell on the seconds left here and there along the roadside, but Tom Dumoulin was not much inclined to let his mind drift off in search of lost time on Saturday evening in Espelette.

Stage victor Dumoulin said: "It's an awesome day". I only have big respect for him.

He was only cleared to race in this year's Tour in the week before the start after cycling's governing body ruled the testing for asthma drug salbutamol was unreliable.

The Welshman said after: "The last time I cried was when I got married".

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