Thomas said afterward. "I can't speak".
Barring an accident in the procession to the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday, the 32-year-old Welshman will give Team Sky their sixth title in seven years after Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and Chris Froome in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
"It's insane really. We had Sam Warburton as well, who is a big rugby player", Thomas said on the eve of Sunday's finale. "It could have been awkward, there could have been tension. he's a great champion and I've always had respect for you". It's a dream come true.
Thomas claimed the yellow jersey by winning Stage 11 in the Alps, followed that up with another victory atop Alpe d'Huez a day later, and defended his advantage through the Pyrenees. The support from the Welsh, British flags.
But Roglic, who only took up cycling six years ago, is no slouch in the race against the clock.
Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) has finished the 18th stage of the Tour de France in the second position of the General Classification, despite other factors being at play. "I don't know what's happened to me", Thomas said Saturday, struggling for composure before finally breaking down in tears.
"I didn't know she was here".
The 32-year-old finished third on the penultimate time trial stage yesterday, behind victor Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), who pipped Froome by just one second to claim line honours with panache.
Defending champion Chris Froome is also out of contention for the overall victory but leapfrogged Slovenian Primož Roglič, the victor of yesterday's final mountain stage, into third on the general classification standings after he crossed the line today in second.
However, with the finish line in sight, Lampaert was caught and Kristoff came through fastest, pipping John Degenkolb and Arnaud Demare at the line.
"I've dreamed about this victory for many years", Kristoff said.
But Thomas, a key helper in Froome's previous four Tour wins, stepped up to the plate when required, countering unsafe attacks and threats from rivals, and sprinting to claim precious bonus seconds to show he was fully deserving of what was a historic win for Wales. Slovakian sprint king Peter Sagan failed to get in contention for the final sprint days after suffering injuries in a spectacular crash in the Pyrenees.
Tasmanian Richie Porte, one of the overall favourites, then crashed out for a second successive year on stage nine to Roubaix and before the first of 15 sectors of cobbles with a fractured collarbone.
'Suddenly they've messaging me about how proud they are to be watching.
Mountain classifications leader Julian Alaphilippe was first over the Aspin and Tourmalet as part of an early breakaway.
"It's just been an wonderful year and I've been riding the crest of a wave". "The race is over, but it's not sinking in".
Frenchman Pierre Latour will finish 13th overall and will clinch the white jersey for the best under-25 rider.