Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas made cycling history on Sunday 29 July when he became the first Welshman – and only the third Briton ever – to win the Tour de France.

Somewhat deservedly, in December 2018, he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year – the fourth cyclist to win the award in 10 years.

We’ve raided the race archives to chart Thomas’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain record, which dates back to 2005 – the second edition in the modern history of the race. Many of these photos have never been published, if not have gone unseen for over a decade, to celebrate the Cardiff-born rider’s impressive achievement.

2005

Team: Great Britain
GC result: 42nd overall, 21:29 behind Nick Nuyens (Quickstep-Innergetic)
Best stage result: 10th, Stage Three, Leeds to Sheffield

Thomas (middle) prepares for the opening stage of the 2006 race, from Glasgow to Castle Douglas, alongside his Great Britain team-mates (from left to right) Kieran Page, Ed Clancy, Tom White and Mark Cavendish. The quintet were members of the British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme, overseen by current Team Sky coach Rod Ellingworth.

The Welshman, only 19 at the time, made it into the breakaway during the third stage between Leeds and Sheffield. The group are pictured here on the Cow and Calf climb.

2006

Team: Great Britain
GC result:40th overall, 27:18 behind Martin Pederson (CSC Pro Team)
Best stage result: Fifth, Stage Four, Wolverhampton to Birmingham

Stage Three, Bradford to Sheffield.

Fellow Brits Paul Manning (far left) and Cavendish (in T-Mobile kit) joined Thomas in the race-winning move on Stage Four into Birmingham.

Andy Tennant, Thomas, and Ben Swift during the neutralised zone of Stage Six between Rochester and Canterbury.

2007

Team: Barloworld
GC result: 59th overall, 22:31 behind Romain Feillu (Agritubel)
Best stage result: Fifth, Stage Two, Reading to Southampton

Two months after starting – and finishing – his first Tour de France, Thomas returned to the Tour of Britain. That year’s race (just like the Tour) began with a prologue in London. He finished seventh in the short test against the watch around Crystal Palace.

The prologue was won by Mark Cavendish (in yellow, joking with Thomas)…

…who also won in Southampton on the opening road stage. Thomas (to the right of the Manxman as we look) placed fifth.

2008

Team: Barloworld
GC result: 73rd overall, 37:00 behind Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel)
Best stage result: 16th, Stage Two, Milton Keynes to Newbury

Thomas returned to the race in 2008, just weeks after forming part of the British quartet who claimed Olympic gold in the team pursuit in Beijing. He’s pictured here ahead of the opening stage in London alongside Chris Newton, who was a part of the GB track team at the London.

Thomas illustrated his pursuiting skills throughout that year’s race, working hard for Barloworld team-mate and fellow Brit Steve Cummings, who finished second overall.

2009

Team: Barloworld-Bianchi
GC result: Sixth overall, 0:43 behind Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Columbia-HTC)
Best stage result: Sixth, Stage Seven, Hatherleigh to Yeovil

Thomas’s future Sky team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen dominated the 2009 race – here he is winning in Gretna Green on Stage Three. Thomas, to his left, placed 10th.

Thomas rides next to current European champion and UAE Team Emirates rider Alexander Kristoff during the race…

…and here he corners next to Chris Froome, who finished third in this year’s Tour de France and who rode the 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain alongside him.

2010

Team: Sky Procycling
GC result: 12th overall, 11:01 behind Michael Albasini (Team HTC-Columbia)
Best stage result: 15th, Stage Two, Stoke-on-Trent to Stoke-on-Trent

Thomas, wearing the British road race champion’s red, white and blue jersey, drives a fragmented peloton on during our gruelling Stoke-on-Trent stage.

Lunchtime with Bradley Wiggins.

Stage Two, Stoke-on-Trent.

The final stage of the 2010 race took place in Newham, host borough of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Thomas worked for Kiwi sprinter Greg Henderson, who placed fourth, during this stage.

2011

Team: Sky Procycling
GC result: 12th overall, 1:55 behind Lars Boom (Rabobank Cycling Team)
Best stage result: Third, Stage Three, Stoke-on-Trent to Stoke-on-Trent

Thomas once again pictured alongside Mark Cavendish, who led the 2011 race for one day.

Cheered on by a passionate home crowd, Thomas tried to put eventual race winner Lars Boom under pressure on Caerphilly Mountain.

Thomas (second from right) is attentive as the race splits up in Dartmoor.

Thomas placed fifth in the final-day London individual time trial. However, his chances of overall glory disappeared in a crash on Stage Six into Wells; sitting just 12 seconds off champion-elect Lars Boom before the stage, he lost 1:24 after a high-speed tumble contesting a sprint.

2017

Team: Team Sky
GC result: Seventh overall, 0:24 behind Lars Boom (Team LottoNL-Jumbo)
Best stage result: Eighth, Stage Five, Tendring ITT

Stage Seven, Hemel Hempstead to Cheltenham. Thomas returned to the national tour in 2017 after a six-year absence.

Thomas looking focussed as the peloton climb Brill Hill, Buckinghamshire.

This OVO Energy Tour of Britain fan got Thomas to sign his maillot jaune ahead of our start in Worcester last year. He wore the famous yellow jersey into Paris at the end of July to confirm his Tour de France victory.

Thomas claimed the Adnams Best British Rider prize in last year’s race.

2018

Team: Team Sky
GC result: 36th overall, 9:12 behind Julian Alaphilippe
Best stage result: Fourth, Stage Five, Cockermouth to Whinlatter team time trial

Geraint Thomas Tour of Britain 2018 Pembrey Country Park

Thomas meets fans ahead of the race’s Grand Depart in Pembrey County Park, Carmarthenshire. That the race started in Wales weeks after he won the Tour de France was purely coincidental!

Geraint Thomas Tour of Britain 2018 Cheddar Gorge

Thomas climbs the scenic Cheddar Gorge during our Bristol stage.

Geraint Thomas 2018 Tour of Britain Cumbria

Thomas did not challenge of the overall victory in the 2018 Tour; instead he took on the role of domestique across the eight days of racing. Here he leads the Sky train during the race’s first-ever team time trial, held on Stage Five, between Cockermouth and Whinlatter.

Geraint Thomas Tour of Britain 2018 London

After helping team-mate Wout Poels to a podium finish in the race, Thomas memorably (albeit unsuccessfully!) went on the attack during our final stage in London!