Team Sky ace Froome safely negotiates penultimate stage in Marseille to see off rivals for another Tour triumph
CHRIS FROOME has cemented his place as one of the greatest cyclists of all time after clinching his FOURTH Tour de France victory – but was booed for his troubles.
Froome needed to safely negotiate the penultimate time trial stage in Marseille to ensure he rides into Paris tomorrow wearing the Yellow Jersey.
And he produced a powerful ride of speed endurance to see off biggest threat Rigoberto Uran to extend his lead at the head of the field.
The British star now just needs to complete the final stage into Paris to officially win the race – although tradition dictates that is always a formality as the riders all pedal in together.
Froome shrugged off being jeered by the supporters inside the Stade Velodrome in Marseille where the stage started and finished to finish third fasted overall on the day.
The stage was won by Polish rider Maciej Bodnar, with Froome’s Team Sky team-mate Michael Kwiatkowski coming home just ahead of him in second.
But that was enough to take his advantage at the front of the field to 54 seconds, all but guaranteeing yet another win in the world’s premier cycling race.
Frenchman Romain Bardet began the stage second 23 seconds down, but he faded badly and only retained a podium spot by one second ahead of Team Sky’s Mikel Landa.
But the sweet moment of success was marred as the home supporters turned their back on him as he celebrated his amazing success.
By the time the 32-year-old climbed to the podium in the stadium, nomally used for football, only a few thousand were left inside.
He was greeted with polite applause anbd a few jeers, instead of the usual acclaim that greets a Tour de France winner.
The home support had earlier given their full backing to French rider Bardet, who was looking to somehow snatch victory from Froome.
While the British star was booed from the start, Bardet was greeted with huge cheers and a wall of noise – but it all came to nothing as he tired when the pressure was on.
Bardet tired so much he was overtaken in the classifications by Colombian rider Uran who was known as a time trial specialist.
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