Sky teammates of Christopher Froome of Britain, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, set the pace for the pack with Bauke Mollema of The Netherlands, left in green, during the 20th stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 125 kilometers (78.1 miles) with start in in Annecy and finish in Annecy-Semnoz, France, Saturday July 20 2013. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
ANNECY-SEMNOZ, France (AP) — Chris Froome has two hands firmly on the Tour de France trophy. All that remains is for the British rider to raise it above his head before cheering crowds in Paris on Sunday.
The Team Sky rider retained his big race lead Saturday in the penultimate stage to ensure he will become Britain’s second successive champion after Bradley Wiggins.
Only an accident or other freak mishap Sunday on the largely ceremonial final ride to the Champs-Elysees could stop Froome from winning the 100th Tour.
“It’s been an amazing journey for me, the race has been a fight every single day,” Froome said at the winner’s news conference which the Tour holds the evening before the final stage.
“This Tour really has had everything. It really has been a special edition this year.”
Froome, who was clearly superior and never looked really troubled in the three-week race, finished third Saturday in a dramatic Stage 20 to the ski station of Annecy-Semnoz in the Alps that decided the other podium placings.
Nairo Quintana from Colombia won the stage and moved up to second overall.
Joaquim Rodriguez from Spain rode in 18 seconds Login to read more