In Brief

Britain's Great 8 - Geraint Thomas joins Tour de France heroes

Welshman becomes UK's eighth wearer of the yellow jersey, putting him in some illustrious company

While some eyes are focussed on Andy Murray's progress at SW19 for the next few weeks, ​there's British sporting excellence ongoing elsewhere.

Geraint Thomas became the eighth Brit to lead the Tour de France when he won Saturday's opening stage, and he's joined some illustrious company...

Tom Simpson

Days in yellow: 1

One of Britain's greatest ever cyclists, Tommy Simpson spent just a single day in the Maillot Jaune in 1962, a daring attack up the Col du Tourmalet in the race's first mountain stage saw him become the first Britain to don the famous leader's jersey.

Simpson finished sixth that year, 17 minutes behind five-time winner Jacques Anquetil. He would only finish one more Tour de France in his career, registering a DNF in 1965, '66 and '67; the year in which he died while ascending Mont Ventoux on the 13th stage.

Chris Boardman

Days in yellow: 6

A superlative time-trialist, Boardman ended Britain's 32-year wait for a Tour leader in 1994 when he thrashed around a 7.2km prologue in Lille to put 15 seconds between him and  second-placed Miguel Indurain.

He held that jersey a further two days before being unseated by classics specialist Johan Museeuw, but came back to snatch the yellow jersey in the 1997 and 1998 prologues.

Sean Yates

Days in yellow: 1

You wait 32 years for a British yellow jersey wearer, then two come along in a week.

A punishing 270.5km stage six in 1994 saw Yates jump into a breakaway early on, finishing sixth in the stage behind Gianluca Bortolami - but ended the day one second ahead thanks to a better prologue performance the previous Saturday.

David Miller

Days in yellow: 3

Another tour beginning with a time trial, another Briton in yellow. The 16.5km stage against the clock in Futuroscope was Miller's first experience in the famous race, and saw him beat a pre-doping scandal Lance Armstrong by two seconds.

It wasn't until a team time trial three days later that he was deposed, Laurent Jalabert taking advantage of the strength in depth of his ONCE-Deutsche Bank team to wear yellow for the next two days.

Bradley Wiggins

Days in yellow: 13

Track star turned time-trialist turned Grand Tour contender, Wiggins took the lead at the ski resort of La Planche des Belles Filles in stage seven of the 2012 event - a stage which was actually won by his teammate Chris Froome.

He and his Team Sky squad never relinquished that lead, their dominance such that they took a rare one-two with Froome in second place.

Chris Froome

Days in yellow: 44

In the absence of Wiggins in 2013, Froome stepped up as Team Sky's leader in style. A dominant team display saw him wear the maillot jaune from the eighth stage through to Paris - a feat he repeated in 2016.

2015, though, was possibly Froome's crowning moment. Bouncing back from the disappointment of an injury-enforced exit the year before, the Nairobi-born Brit spent all but five days of the race in yellow across two different spells. Don't bet against a fourth success in 2017.

Mark Cavendish

Days in yellow: 1

The absence of an opening time trial in the 2016 edition of the Tour gave the sprinters a chance to snatch the lead early, and Cavendish grabbed that opportunity with both hands to beat out Marcel Kittel and Peter Sagan - his first of four stage wins last year.

Geraint Thomas

Days in yellow: Ongoing

A masterful performance in the driving rain in Düsseldorf on Saturday saw the Welshman become the eighth Brit to wear one of sport's most recognisable strips. Don't expect him to hold it through to Paris though - he'll be riding in support of his team leader Froome.

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