23-second lead should do it for Froome in Tour
Chris Froome called the Tour de France his to lose as he heads into Saturday's penultimate time trial with a 23-second lead over Frenchman Romain Bardet.
Froome and the other contenders enjoyed a sedate stage 19 as the breakaway contested honours in Salon-de-Provence, where Froome's former team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen made up for being on the wrong side of two photo finishes by winning solo.
As the peloton eased over the line more than 12-and-a-half minutes later, attention quickly turned to Marseille, where Froome's rivals have one last chance to overhaul him in a 22.5 kilometre battle against the clock before Sunday's traditionally processional stage into Paris.
"It's my race to lose," Froome said. "I have to make sure I do everything right, follow the right processes and not have a bad day. I've got the legs, and hopefully everything else will be alright," he said.
A day after the final mountain test, the organisers threw the longest stage of the entire Tour at the riders as they rode 222.5km from Embrun.
Perhaps for that reason, Sky - in control of the peloton - allowed a 20-man breakaway to go more than 10 minutes up the road and settled in for a tranquil day. Froome even had time to high-five famous Tour fan Didi the Devil as they headed into Provence.
"It was cool seeing Didi out there, he's a legend of the Tour."