Froome virtually assured of fourth Tour title

Chris Froome crowned winner of Tour de France for fourth time

Yesterday we saw a time trial stage in Marseille, in which Maciej Bodnar finished first with 6 seconds advantage over the Britt who was third.

Ten years ago, Alexandre Vinokourov, sixth overall at the start of the final stage but only two seconds behind Levi Leipheimer launched several attacks just to win the stage and dislodge Leipheimer out of the fifth place.

Albasini, who followed Italian Daniele Bennati into the roundabout, said fatigue had got the better of him at the end of the longest stage of the Tour - a 222.5km slog from Embrun to Salon-de-Provence.

Everything that happened during the ride from Briancon, including the category one Col de Vars, was a prelude to the eagerly anticipated final act on Izoard - a climb that is part of the folklore of the Tour, up there with Mont Ventoux.

He also lacked his usual dominance in the climbs and was beaten in a brutal uphill finish in Peyragudes as the 26-year-old Bardet won the stage to fuel hopes of a first home champion since 1985.

Uran, second overall, lost 25 seconds to Froome over 22.5km on Saturday and Bardet lost a massive one minute 57 seconds. "But I have respect for all those guys because I know how hard it is".

Rowe has spent much of the 2017 Tour chasing down breakaways at the front, then bringing up the rear of the peloton having spent all his energy in Froome's cause.

Bardet struggles were reflected further when Froome, beginning 2min behind, nearly caught the Frenchman in the closing metres.

It was a different time, a different situation, a different course, but it's happened before and that has given the locals reason to believe.

Froome is very good against the clock, while Uran will need to have the best performance of his career to move past him to claim the yellow jersey.

The Australian sewed up victory in the green jersey competition on Friday, although he had already done so all but mathematically on Thursday. They have been the joint leaders since Lance Armstrong's string of seven doping-assisted victories was expunged from the history of the 114-year-old race.

This was the third straight win for the Team Sky rider.

Froome has always been a great time trial specialist and that's going to make it tougher for Romain Bardet.

"It was a good Tour, though". He crashed on stage two, had to dodge a stray parasol on stage six, and went off road on stage eight.

The last remaining prize went to Barguil, a winner of two stages, who was named the most combative rider of the Tour.

It will take something of a miracle to stop Froome, the strongest time trialler of the trio, from winning his fourth Tour de France.

"The tactic was for a three-week race, just chipping away and not trying to blow the race apart on one stage", he said.

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