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Chris Froome set to claim fourth Tour de France victory

Britain's Chris Froome has sealed a fourth Tour de France title - his third in a row - after finishing third in the penultimate stage in Marseille on Saturday. Poland's Maciej Bodnar won the stage.

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Bodnar may have been victorious on the winding 22.5-kilometer (14-mile) time trial with a time of 28 minutes, 15 seconds, but it was Team Sky rider Froome who was, once again, the day's big winner.

The 32-year-old was the last rider to set off from the Stade Velodrome and retains the yellow jersey after extending his lead over Colombian Uran Rigoberto to 54 seconds ahead of Sunday's largely ceremonial final stage.

Barring any mishaps on the ride to Paris, Froome will become only the fifth man to win four Tour titles. Four riders have won five.

"Three weeks of racing are almost at an end - we've still got to get to Paris, but this is an amazing feeling," Froome told British broadcaster ITV.

"It was tough - there were a thousand what ifs and things that could go wrong so it was not an easy one coming into today with it being so close. But it feels incredible to finish this one off."

The Tour ends Sunday with a 103km ride from Montegron to the traditional finish in Paris on the Champs-Elysees. Only the sprinters will be competing for places.

Froome's victory this time round has been a triumph of consistency, as the British rider has not yet won an individual stage. Unless he comes in first on Sunday, he will become the seventh rider to claim the final yellow jersey without a stage win.

Accolades for Yates, Barguil

Nairo Quintana, who was targeting a Giro d'Italia-Tour double this season, will finish outside the top 10 in France after taking second place in Italy.

Briton Simon Yates secured the white jersey for the best under-25 rider while Frenchman Warren Barguil, who won two stages, will claim the polka dot jersey for the mountains classification and was voted the most aggressive rider in the race.
 

mp/dv (Reuters/DPA) 

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