Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas crowned Welsh Sports Personality of the Year

Thomas was recognised for an outstanding year while Elynor Backstedt won the young sportswomen’s award

Geraint Thomas ahead of stage 18 of the 2018 Tour de France (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas’s career-defining year continued as he was crowned Welsh Sports Personality of the Year.

The Team Sky rider had an outstanding season, taking his first Tour victory along with two stage wins.

Young British Cycling academy rider Elynor Backstedt was also honoured, taking home the Young Sportswoman of the year award.

Thomas has shot into the limelight after his win, appearing on the Graham Norton Show alongside Nicole Kidman, and now taking the BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year award.

It is the second time he has won the award, after he was also crowned in 2014.

Thomas told BBC Sport Wales (opens in new tab): "It's massive [the award], it's something I always grew up watching when I was younger.

"Just to be nominated shows you've done something special in the year, so to win it and have everyone vote for me is really nice, and it's a lovely way to finish off the year."

Snooker player Mark Williams was second, having claimed a third World Championship, while Wales' first Winter Olympics medallist Laura Deas came third after her bronze in the skeleton.

>>> Geraint Thomas says 2019 ‘wrong time’ to settle unfinished business at the Giro d’Italia

British Cycling performance director Stephen Park said: “It’s fantastic to see Geraint’s achievements of this past year being recognised by winning the Wales Sports Personality of the Year award.

“To see what Geraint achieved not only in Paris, but also during his cycling career so far has been an absolute pleasure to witness, and is testament to the strength of British Cycling’s pathway system in developing talented young riders into world-class cyclists and hopefully serves as an inspiration for young riders to follow in his tracks.

“I’d like to extend my congratulations to Geraint and I look forward to seeing what she can achieve throughout the rest of his career.”

The winner is voted for by the public from a list of candidates selected by a panel, and is awarded to the person who has achieved most in Welsh sport over the last year.

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British Cycling’s track talent Elinor Barker was also nominated for the award, having won gold in the women’s points race for Wales at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.

Barker also won gold in the team pursuit as part of the Great Britain squad at the European Championships.

There was more Welsh cycling success at the ceremony, as Elynor Backstedt won the Carwyn James Young Sportswoman of the Year award.

Backstedt, daughter of retired pro Magnus, won bronze at the junior women’s individual time trial at the 2018 World Championships in Austria.

Park added: “I’d also like to congratulate Elynor Backstedt on her award this evening.

“She put in a great performance in Innsbruck to win the bronze medal, and the future is certainly bright for this junior academy rider.”

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