Disbelieving Froome set for Tour de France victory

20 July 2013 / 20:43

Chris Froome has certainly earned the right to enjoy the yellow jersey's traditional celebratory glass of champagne as the Tour de France concludes with a procession into Paris.

The British rider finished third on the penultimate stage - the final test of his general classification credentials - and now enjoys a commanding five minute and three second advantage over his rivals.

The 100th edition of the storied race will conclude with a twilight bunch sprint finish on the Champs Elysees but for Froome the hard work is done.

And while Sir Bradley Wiggins won last year with a series of dominant time trial displays, his Sky team-mate has bested his rivals with a succession of brilliant performances in the mountains, including three memorable summit stage wins.

"I can't quite believe I'm sitting here in this position," he admitted. "It really is amazing and I'm a bit lost for words. 

"I've still got to roll into Paris but this is the general classification sorted out and to finish it off like this is special."

Froome was involved in a late break for victory, alongside Nairo Quintana and Joaquim Rodriguez, who now occupy second and third in the overall standings.

Quintana, who will win the King of the Mountains jersey, claimed the stage win ahead of Rodriguez and Froome, who came home 29 seconds back.

"It was quite hard to stay on top once I got to three kilometres to go because I knew I had accomplished what I wanted to do - I was overwhelmed," added Froome, last year's runner-up behind Wiggins.

Mark Cavendish's slender hopes of regaining the green jersey are over after Peter Sagan secured an unassailable advantage in that classification.

But the British rider will start favourite for Sunday's final stage - as he aims to become the first man to win the showpiece finale on five occasions.

© Sportsbeat 2013