Geraint Thomas is the 2018 Tour de France champion, the third Brit to win the race after Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, after finishing safely on the Champs-Elysees.

European champion Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) sprinted to victory on the final stage, ahead of John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) to win on the Champs-Elysees for the first time.

Thomas crossed the finish line in the yellow jersey aboard a yellow Pinarello Dogma F10, arm-in-arm with team-mate Froome meanwhile, to celebrate his first ever Tour title.

Champagne flowed as Team Sky made their way towards the Champs-Elysees, knowing Thomas’ two Alpine stage wins and attentive riding in the Pyrenees had all-but-sealed their sixth Tour win in seven stages.

Froome confirmed his third place, meanwhile, with Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) splitting the Team Sky men – his sixth Tour podium in eight participations.

Geraint Thomas, Tom Dumoulin, Chris Froome, Tour de France, 2018, podium, pic - Sirotti

The four-time champion shook hands with race director Christian Prudhomme – a handshake that seemed unlikely when the race organisation was trying to expel Froome from the race before he was cleared of doping.

That seems a long time ago now, however, as the 105th Tour ended with the customary celebrations on the Champs-Elysees – Thomas, green jersey Peter Sagan, white jersey Pierre Latour, King of the Mountains Julian Alaphilippe and super combatif Dan Martin hailed for their success.

As for the stage, after confirming he will retire at the end of the season, Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) was allowed to lead onto the Champs-Elysees as he completed his record-breaking 18th Tour de France.

He sat up after a lap of honour, however, as Silvan Dillier (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Taylor Phinney (EF-Drapac), Michael Schär (BMC Racing), Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) and Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) formed the break.

Groupama-FDJ and Bora-hansgrohe kept them on a short leash, however – as expected – with the gap never more than 40 seconds.

Phinney had to chase back to the front group after a mechanical too, briefly costing them firepower, and the gap was 25 seconds as Cofidis took a pull with three laps to go.

The chase was timed to perfection – Politt the last man standing as the race came back together on the final lap.

Alexander Kristoff, Tour de France, 2018, Champs-Elysees, pic - Sirotti

Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates) tried a solo attack alongside the River Seine before Daniel Oss (Bora-hansgrohe) and Yves Lampaert (QuickStep Floors) hit the front into the underpass.

Lampaert pushed on under the flamme rouge and boasted a surprisingly big lead, but the sprinters brought it back just in time.

And Kristoff burst clear of his rivals to claim victory with a big lunge to the line – his first Tour stage win since 2014.

Thomas then crossed safely moments later, with Froome alongside him, to kick-start his celebration of a stunning victory.

Tour de France 2018: stage 21 - result

1) Alexander Kristoff (NOR) - UAE Team Emirates - 2.46.36hrs
2) John Degenkolb (GER) - Trek-Segafredo - ST
3) Arnaud Demare (FRA) - Groupama-FDJ
4) Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) - Dimension Data
5) Christophe Laporte (FRA) - Cofidis
6) Max Richeze (ARG) - QuickStep Floors
7) Sonny Colbrelli (ITA) - Bahrain-Merida
8) Peter Sagan (SVK) - Bora-hansgrohe
9) Andrea Pasqualon (ITA) - Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10) Japser de Buyst (BEL) - Lotto-Soudal

General classification

1) Geraint Thomas (GBR) – Team Sky – 83.17.13hrs
2) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Team Sunweb +1.51
3) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky +2.24
4) Primoz Roglic (SVN) – LottoNL-Jumbo +3.22
5) Steven Kruijswijk (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo +6.08
6) Romain Bardet (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +6.57
7) Mikel Landa (ESP) – Movistar +7.37
8) Daniel Martin (IRL) – UAE Team Emirates +9.05
9) Ilnur Zakarin (RUS) – Katusha-Alpecin +12.37
10) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar +14.18