Geraint Thomas‘s overall victory in the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal on Sunday has elevated him among Britain’s greatest cyclists in history.
The 29-year-old from Cardiff placed fifth on the final stage to secure the victory in the UCI 2.1-ranked event, and win the race for a second year running.
It is Thomas’s 12th professional victory in his 10-year career so far, which also includes victories in E3 Harelbeke (2015), Bayern-Rundfahrt (2011 and 2014) and the prologue of the 2012 Tour de Romandie.
Thomas’s tally of wins now puts him in 14th place in Cycling Weekly’s all-time list of British pro winners, ahead of former professionals Roger Hammond and Brian Robinson.
When you also factor in Thomas’s top 10 placings in some of the world’s biggest races, his achievements also put him ahead of the likes of Sean Yates and Malcolm Elliott.
That, of course, is only taking account of his wins on the road. Thomas also has an enviable record on the track, having struck gold in the team pursuit at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and world titles in the same discipline in 2007, 2008 and 2012.
Despite that long history of top performances, the feeling is that Thomas is really only just hitting his stride on the road. Having joined Team Sky since its inception in 2010, Thomas forged a place as a solid worker who had few opportunities to grab a victory for himself.
Watch: Geraint Thomas – where it all began
That will change in 2016, as his stand-out performance in last year’s Tour de France while in the service of eventual winner Chris Froome has marked him out as a potential Grand Tour contender in his own right.
Thomas maintained a position in the top 10 overall of the Tour right up until stage 19 when he faded in the day to La Toussuire, and he finished the race in 15th spot.
Sky will give Thomas more opportunities in the coming months to lead the team in shorter stage races. There can be few doubts that he will add to his tally of wins before the year is out, and his place in British cycling history as one of the all-time greats will be assured.