Read more From Wales to the Champs-Élysées: the selfless rise of Geraint Thomas Pinterest Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. Share on Pinterest This was a meticulously planned Tour de France victory but also a slightly accidental one. Even after the Welshman raced away from Chris Froome up the Alpe d’Huez to win stage 12 he was honest about his place in the Team Sky pecking order, calling himself “maybe a bit more than a pawn”. Ten days later he rode along the Champs-Élysées like a conquering king before easing back as Alexander Kristoff took a vigorously contested sprint finish.For years Thomas was known mostly as a phenomenal track rider. Then, slowly, he made the transition to classics contender and loyal domestique to Froome. But few expected him to develop into a mountain goat capable of winning two stages in the Alps. No wonder he was a 14-1 underdog with the bookies three weeks ago. Play Video Le Monde, meanwhile, lamented Team Sky’s six “boring” victories in seven years and said it was due to its financial power and appliance of the numbers. “Cycling has become mathematics,” the paper wrote. “And Sky are the strongest in maths. It’s terrible.”There will be some who dismiss this as sour grapes. Perhaps part of it is. But it would also be narrow-minded of British fans to whitewash the long and legitimate criticisms of Team Sky.After all it was only in March that the digital, culture, media and sport select committee accused Sky of being “unethical” in its use of TUEs. Read more Geraint Thomas Share via Email Show And how. Team Sky’s plan had been to see how the Alps stages went and let the road decide. Yet even when Thomas led by 1min 39sec with a week remaining, they kept faith with Froome – mindful of the Welshman’s reputation for crashing and having mad days. Instead it was Froome who cracked in the Pyrenees, whispering to his team that he was “not feeling super” on the Col du Portet and prompting a rapid changing of the guard.Not everyone, however, saw it that way. L’Equipe on Sunday had a front page picture of Thomas and Froome embracing with the stark headline Le Règne Sans Fin, or “The reign without end”. The verdict inside was hardly more enthusiastic. “The victory of Thomas will not reconcile the Sky sceptics, any more than asking Donald Trump to get on board with theories of climate change,” it warned.As for whether Thomas’s performance could be believed, it sat resolutely on the fence. “There are those who don’t understand how Thomas has waited to be 32 to crush everyone in the mountains. But there are others who point to a career path in several levels – Olympic titles, a passage on the road which saw him win Paris-Nice and the Dauphiné – and begin to believe in his quality in grand tours.” Support The Guardian Topics Play Video Was this helpful? Thomas had prepared for his first grand tour by getting his weight down to 67.6kg – 10st 9lb – the lightest in his career, no mean feat at 6ft 1in tall. He also had three high-altitude camps in Tenerife, each of two weeks, and had practised Saturday’s time-trial course in advance in the expectation that it might be crucial.Luck also played its part. Froome and Tom Dumoulin, who were riding on heavy legs after the Giro D’Italia, lost time after early crashes. Richie Porte, another contender, had to abandon after breaking his shoulder.Yet there was a crucial change in mind-set from Team Sky, too. In the past Thomas would have been forced to drop back to help Froome when the four-time Tour winner crashed on the first stage, losing 51 seconds. Not this time. “I was allowed my freedom,” the Welshman said. “It wasn’t like I had to work for him as a domestique. Obviously the guys were riding for Froomey, while I was the back-up leader. But it was clear that I wouldn’t have to sit up if I was feeling good and Froomey bad. Then as the race went on it worked itself out anyway.” Since you’re here… Dave Brailsford emotional but immovable as Tour triumph continues legacy Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas rides into Paris on final day – video Quick guide Tour de France final results Never, surely, has a flute of champagne tasted so sweet as the one Geraint Thomas enjoyed on the road into Paris. For it confirmed that winning the yellow jersey, which had appeared such a vacuous dream, was now a lucid reality. Before standing on the podium the 32-year-old Welshman promised a party that would go on for “two weeks or perhaps even a month”. The glint in his eye suggested he was not joking. Yet it is hard not to warm to Thomas, who has remained droll and engaging even when the pressure has been greatest during this Tour. Given the current climate, it possibly also helps that he does not have asthma, has never had a TUE and, when he broke his hip at the 2013 Tour, he insisted on nothing stronger than ibuprofen.Back in 2008 when his Barloworld team-mate Moises Duenas was busted for EPO, he also spoke out against doping in the strongest possible terms. “If someone is fraudulent in a business, wouldn’t they be facing a prison term?” he said. “I don’t see how riders taking drugs to win races and lying to their teams is any different. Bang them up and throw away the key.” Those words are encouraging, especially in a sport like cycling which – given its past – remains permanently on parole.Meanwhile Team Sky’s performance manager, Rod Ellingworth, reckons that, even at 32, Thomas has plenty more in the tank. “He really does have the full package and he’s matured in the past two years and taken it on,” he said, smiling. “And he’s still pretty ambitious, too.” 0:31 Tour de France 2018 Facebook Thank you for your feedback. Tour de France news Share on Facebook 0:59 Stage 21 (Houilles to Paris, 115km): 1 A Kristoff (Nor) Emirates 2hr 46min 36sec; 2 J Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo same time; 3 A Démare (Fr) Groupama-FDJ s/t; 4 E Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data s/t; 5 C Laporte (Fr) Cofidis s/t; 6 M Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step s/t; 7 S Colbrelli (It) Bahrain-Merida s/t; 8 P Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe s/t; 9 A Pasqualon (It) Wanty s/t; 10 J De Buyst (Bel) Lotto-Soudal s/t.Final overall standings: 1 G Thomas (GB) Sky 83hr 17min 13sec; 2 T Dumoulin (Neth) Sunweb +1min 51sec; 3 C Froome (GB) Sky +2min 24sec; 4 P Roglič (Svn) Lotto-Jumbo +3min22sec; 5 S Kruijswijk (Neth) Lotto-Jumbo +6min 8sec; 6 R Bardet (Fr) AG2R La Mondiale +6min 57sec; 7 M Landa (Sp) Movistar +7min 37sec; 8 D Martin (Ire) Emirates +9min 5sec; 9 I Zakarin (Rus) Katusha +12min 37sec; 10 N Quintana (Col) Movistar +14min 18sec.Points classification: 1 P Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 477pts; 2 A Kristoff (Nor) Emirates 246; 3 A Démare (Fr) Gropama-FDJ 203; 4 J Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo 178; 5 J Alaphilippe (Fr) Quick-Step 143.King of the mountains: 1 J Alaphilippe (Fr) Quick-Step 170pts; 2 W Barguil (Fr) Fortuneo-Samsic 91; 3 R Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 76; 4 G Thomas (GB) Sky 74; 5 T Dumoulin (Neth) Sunweb 63.Best young rider: 1 P Latour (Fr) AG2R 83hr 39min 26sec; 2 E Bernal (Col) Sky +5min 39sec; 3 G Martin (Fr) Wanty +22min 5sec; 4 D Gaudu (Fr) Groupama-FDJ +1h 7min 48sec; 5 D Martínez (Col) EF-Drapac +1hr 16min 25sec.Team standings: 1 Movistar (Sp) 250hr 24min 53sec; 2 Bahrain-Merida (Brn) +12min 33sec; 3 Sky (GB) +31min 14sec; 4 LottoNL-Jumbo (Neth) +47min 24sec; 5 Astana (Kaz) +1hr 15min 32sec. Chris Froome Hide Cycling Geraint Thomas: Tour de France support has outshone negativity – video Twitter Team Ineos Share on Twitter There are also unanswered questions over testosterone delivered to the Manchester velodrome which British Cycling and Team Sky shared, while a Team Sky doctor is still facing a general medical council investigation. It is hardly a good look either when Lance Armstrong’s former US Postal soigneur is still in charge of Team Sky’s service course in Belgium. … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on LinkedIn French national air display team Patrouille de France fly over the peloton as the final stage comes to a close. 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View image | gettyimages.com Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Local Pakistanis and faith groups mourning the 145 victims—132 of them children—of a Taliban school attack are planning a candlelight vigil in Mineola on Wednesday evening.The brazen attack shocked the world on Tuesday as reports came in describing how ruthless Taliban gunman stormed the Army Public School and Degree College in Pashawar and indiscriminately sprayed bullets into uniformed children and their teachers.“I could not focus since I heard the news,” said Isma Chaudhry, the president-elect of the Islamic Center of Long Island, who was raised in Lahore. “What is most shameful is that this is all done in the name of religion and these are acts beyond any explanation, beyond any sense, beyond any human understanding.”Pakistani troops who responded to the school described a horrific scene of pools of blood and bullet-ridden bodies of lifeless children scattered on the floor. Some students recalled how the Taliban forced them to watch as their teacher was burned alive. None of the attackers survived the siege.The tragedy shocked Pakistani-born Long Islanders who have been struggling to come to terms with the brutal terrorist attack.“These were children,” Chaudhry added. “I have kids…I just cannot imagine such a horrific, heinous action toward anyone, especially kids.”Bashir Qamar, founder of Pakistani American Community of Long Island, a cultural and social organization, said his group will mourn the dead at a candlelight vigil at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building in Mineola at 6 p.m. Wednesday.“We were in sudden shock,” he said. “We were speechless. It was such a sad and tragic incident.” Qamar, who is from Karachi, said he was hoping that the Pakistani Army could put an end to the violence.According to reports, the attack was in retaliation for a Pakistani military offensive against the military group on the Afghan border.“There’s no justification, there is nothing,” added Chaudhry. “It’s something you cannot really comprehend.”When she lived in Pakistan, Chaudhry said her family would travel to Pashawar often. She described it as a “major city” that is home to children who take pride in their education. For some Pakistani children, however, school is not an option because families cannot afford the cost of education, she said.“It’s not something that comes in easy or is taken for granted,” she said. “You should see these kids the way they’re dressed up…because they have a lot of pride.” Chaudhry spoke to friends and family back home shortly after the attack. Everyone is “weeping a loss,” she said.She said interfaith groups from across the region have reached out to the ICLI and expressed deep sadness. An interfaith prayer service is expected to be held at the ICLI’s mosque in Westbury Wednesday afternoon to mourn the victims.The devastating attack came less than a week after Malala Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace prize. Yousafzai survived a Taliban assassination attempt in Pakistan after she was targeted for her pro-education advocacy.“I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold-blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us,” Yousafzai said in a statement. “Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this.” View image | gettyimages.com
The Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) is investigating the incident.The passenger plane went missing soon after takeoff from Jaffna on 29 September 1998 and was not found since. The plane was carrying 48 passengers and 7 crew members. The wreckage of the plane was found in the sea off Iranamadu this month after an LTTE cadre in police custody had revealed the location from where the plane was shot down. The bodies of the victims of the Lion Air passenger plane believed to have been shot down by the LTTE in 1998, are to be exhumed for investigations, the police said.According to the police, a group of fishermen are believed to have recovered the bodies and buried them nearby following the incident. With the discovery of the wreckage further investigations had revealed the location where the bodies of some passengers of the flight had been buried.
Perhaps Lady Melisandre can use her special connection with the Lord of Light to resurrect him. Then she plucks skin tags from his slightly less orange face. "Once these projects are operationalised, a process by which water levels of the dam are brought down to flush out the silt.
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