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Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas voted top U.K. sports personality

AFP-JIJI

Geraint Thomas was crowned the BBC’s U.K. sports personality of the year on Sunday after his maiden Grand Tour triumph in the Tour de France.

Welshman Thomas beat out Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and World Cup Golden Boot winner Harry Kane into second and third respectively.

“It is insane that I am stood here,” said Thomas after collecting the prestigious prize in Birmingham.

“Seeing kids on their bikes back home, you take great pride in winning this.

“It’s been an amazing year for British sport and long may it continue.”

There was some success for England’s World Cup team as Gareth Southgate picked up the coach of the year award.

“I’m incredibly proud of the team,” said Southgate.

“There was a disconnection with the fans for a long period and that was understandable.

“Huge credit to the players, they played with great pride, great style and I think people really appreciated how they conducted themselves and represented their country.”

Francesco Molinari, a 36-year-old Italian golfer who won the British Open and claimed five points as part of the winning European Ryder Cup team, was named “world sports star.”

In the team of the year category, England’s soccer players lost out to England’s netballers, who won gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Tennis legend Billie Jean King was awarded the lifetime achievement award.

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