Saint-Gervais - Welsh rider Geraint Thomas supplied Team Sky with their sixth Criterium du Dauphine success in eight years on Sunday.
Thomas held off Briton Adam Yates, winner of the concluding seventh
stage, with France's Romain Bardet taking third in the overall
The 32-year-old Thomas registered his first win at the Dauphine,
probably the greatest success of his professional career, topping even
his Paris-Nice victory in 2016.
"It's incredible, it hasn't sunk in yet!" said Thomas, who joins some
illustrious company and must now be considered a contender for overall
Tour de France success.
"I was always thinking of the next stage, the next climb and it's an
amazing feeling and I think it will really start to sink in tonight.
It's a massive race and it's an incredible feeling."
He follows in the footsteps of compatriots Bradley Wiggins, who won the race twice, and three-time winner Chris Froome.
Thomas took overall honours by 1:00 from Yates with Bardet 1:47
back in this tune-up for the Tour de France, which gets under way on
Yates, of Mitchelton-Scott, pulled clear of Spanish rider Dani
Navarro 50m from the line at the finish to the 136km closing day's ride
to the ski resort of Le Bettex.
"The Tour de France has been my goal since start of season, but the
Volta a Catalunya set things back," Yates said about crashing out of the
Catalonia tour in March.
"I made a good recovery though and I'm in good shape, ready for the next training block ahead of the Tour."
As for Thomas, his final day was blighted by two punctures.
After catching up with the main leaders with 30km remaining, he
crossed the line a handful of seconds off the pace without ever being in
danger of losing possession of the yellow jersey.
Thomas would normally expect to be a domestique for four-time
champion Froome at the Tour but victory at the Criterium against
potential Tour contenders, coupled with the uncertainty surrounding
Froome's adverse analytical finding from a drug test last year, means
the Welshman could yet be riding for his own glory next month.
Results and standings from Sunday's 136km seventh and final stage of the Criterium du Dauphine from Moutiers to Saint-Gervais:
1. Adam Yates (GBR/Mitchelton) 3hr 51min 34sec, 2. Dani Navarro (ESP/COF) at 04sec, 3. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 09, 4. Emanuel Buchmann (GER/BOR) 14, 5. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 19, 6. Dan Martin (IRL/EAU) 24, 7. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 24, 8. Guillaume Martin (FRA/WGG) 28, 9. Pierre Latour (FRA/ALM) 35, 10. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EFD) 41
1. Geraint Thomas (GBR/Sky) 24hr 43min 12sec, 2. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT) at 1:00, 3. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 1:47, 4. Daniel Martin (IRL/EAU) 2:35, 5. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 2:44, 6. Emanuel Buchmann (GER/BOR) 3:05, 7. Pierre Latour (FRA/ALM) 4:05, 8. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EFD) 4:22, 9. Daniel Navarro (ESP/COF) 4:31, 10. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 4:45