A stunning solo attack up a grueling climb has put Chris Froome in the frame to win a third consecutive Grand Tour event. The British cyclist said his performance in Friday's 19th stage was one of the best he's produced.
Froome, who won the last two Grand Tour events (the Tour de Franceand Vuelta a Espana), launched his solo attack up the three-week race's highest climb with 80 kilometers (50 miles) to go and rode clear to lead his closest challenger by three minutes, with one genuine stage remaining.
"I don't think I've ever attacked 80 kilometers from the finish, riding on my own and going all the way to the finish," Froome said.
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"I knew there was a long way to go but to win this Giro d'Italia I had to do something extraordinary. I couldn't wait for the last climb. I had to do something crazy.
"Colle delle Finestre was the perfect place to do it. Gravel roads remind me of Africa," added the Team Sky rider, who was born and raised in Kenya.
Froome leads defending champion Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands by 40 seconds in the overall standings. Frenchman Thibaut Pinot is third overall, 4:17 behind.
There is one more mountainous stage on Saturday, a 214-kilometer leg from Susa to Cervinia, before Sunday's largely ceremonial finish in Rome.
Froome had started the day fourth overall, more than three minutes behind previous leader Simon Yates but now leads defending champion Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands by 40 seconds in the overall standings. Frenchman Thibaut Pinot is third overall, 4:17 behind.
mp (AP, Reuters)