Barguil happy to take time to end French Tour drought

Chris Froome's position appears impregnable at the 2017 Tour de France

Chris Froome's position appears impregnable at the 2017 Tour de France

However the biggest victor on the day was yellow jersey Chris Froome (Team Sky), who defended his lead and rode to an impressive third on the day, five seconds behind teammate Michal Kwiatkowski, who finished just one second behind Bodnar.

Team Sky's Froome will ride into Paris for Sunday's final stage with a 54-second advantage over his nearest rival, the Colombian Rigoberto Uran of Cannondale-Drapac, after putting on an imperious display in yellow on the sunny streets of Marseille.

"We still have to get to Paris tomorrow safely".

But Bardet was in crisis, already 1min 17sec off Kwiatkowski, who still had the best time at the second check, although only fractions of a second ahead of Spanish veteran Alberto Contador, after 15.6km and the climb up to the Notre Dame de la Garde basilica, with Froome fourth at 3sec.

"I expected a top-five", Vaughters said. I had studied the course and I knew I had to go right in that last roundabout.

On the opening stage, a 14km time-trial in Dusseldorf, Froome beat Bardet by 39sec and Uran by 51sec, although heavy rain at times made the conditions treacherous.

"I've been to see [the course] a couple of times already", Froome told ITV.

Bodnar, taken in the straight line final of Pau (stage 11) after a long break, won for the first time in the Tour.

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Bardet's struggles were considerably greater, and Froome knew he had the Tour won when he nearly chased down the AG2R La Mondiale rider on the final approach to the Velodrome, having started two minutes behind him.

"I wouldnt say it's quite won yet, but certainly the toughest part of the Tour is behind us with the Alps and Pyrenees done now", said the 32-year-old Briton.

While not huge, his lead is sufficient to mean that he doesn't have to take unnecessary risks on the twisting and technical time-trial course in Marseille.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) took third on the Stage 20 Marseilles ITT. Today I didn't feel well.

He sped away from Froome's group and gradually reeled in riders ahead of him on the hairpin bends and steep road - the last being John Darwin Atapuma of Colombia, with about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) left to ascend.

Two minutes later and it was turn of Bardet's obstacle to yellow to roll down the ramp - a man so often on the receiving end of abuse from the local fans since the first of his three (and counting) overall wins back in 2013.

Bury's Simon Yates hung on to seventh place overall, securing the young riders' white jersey which was won by his twin brother and Orica-Scott team-mate Adam 12 months ago.

"I'm really happy", Yates said. "We're in battle mode, but I let myself down".

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