Summary: Geraint Thomas is the 2018 Sports Personality of the Year after winning the Tour de France.

Cyclist Geraint Thomas has been named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, on a night of awards that celebrated the best of British sporting achievement.

The Welshman won the vote after his triumph in the Tour de France, making him the third Briton - and the first actually born in the UK - to secure the ride down the Champs Elysees in the yellow jersey. 

It capped an eventful weekend for Thomas, whose Tour de France trophy was stolen and then replaced. He will no doubt make sure his latest piece of silverware is kept in a very safe place.

Speaking as he collected his award, he remarked: "I really should have thought about what I was going to say.

"I feel very lucky to have come into cycling when I did. I just went down to the local leisure centre for a swim and instead I rode my bike.

"As a bike rider, I always focus on myself. Obviously people want me to win, but hearing stories like Tyson [Fury]'s and Billy [Monger]'s, you realise that what we do does inspire people back home.

"To see people on their bikes and enjoying it, you take just as much pride from that as winning something like this."

Tyson Fury had spoken about his battle to overcome mental health issues, while 19-year-old Formula 3 driver Billy Monger was given the Helen Rollason award for his achievement in returning to motorsport after losing both legs in a racing incident.

Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton was second, while England's Harry Kane, who won the World Cup golden boot, was third.

Football fans were also able to celebrate the achievements of Gareth Southgate, who was given the Coach of the Year award.

While England reached the last four in Russia, the team of the year was to be the England netball team, who won an historic gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Australia earlier this year.

The netball side came back from Australia with a bit more to celebrate than the England cricket team, but James Anderson was another of the nominees after becoming the most prolific seam bowler in Test history with the final ball of the summer's Test series against India, as he took his 564th wicket.

Anderson's historic wicket clinched a 4-1 win for England against the world's number one-ranked Test team as they bounced back from their winter woes in Australia and New Zealand, and Joe Root's men followed this up with a 3-0 whitewash in Sri Lanka.

England's 50-over team remains the top-ranked side and will be favourites to win the 2019 World Cup on home soil.

European 100 metres champion Dina Asher-Smith and double gold medal-winning skeleton bobsleigher Lizzy Yarnold completed the shortlist.

Other award winners included former tennis star Billie-Jean King, who picked up a lifetime achievement award. She famously struck a blow for women in the sport when she won the 1972 'battle of the sexes' challenge match against self-styled male chauvinist Bobby Riggs.

The celebration of sporting achievement showed just how much there has been to enjoy for British sporting fans this year, and 2019 promises to deliver much the same.

While the England cricket team will hope to win the World Cup and the Ashes on home soil, Lewis Hamilton will be seeking yet another world title, Andy Murray should be back fighting for more tennis Grand Slams and England's rugby team will be heading to Japan hoping to emulate the feats of the 2003 side and win the World Cup.



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