Britain's Chris Froome has vowed to get the job done after edging closer to his third Tour de France title by claiming victory in the stage 18 time trial yesterday.
Froome beat time-trial specialist Tom Dumoulin of Holland by 21 seconds over the 17 kilometre course from Sallanches to Megeve to extend his lead in the general classification to three minutes and 52 seconds. Italy’s Fabio Aru was third.
“It’s fantastic that I opened out my lead today, but we can’t relax and switch off now. We’ve got to see this through right to the end,” said Team Sky’s Froome, who was crowned Tour champion in 2013 and 2015.
“Tomorrow is a very tricky stage with a lot of tricky descents. There’s talk about thunderstorms during the race. It’s definitely going to have to be a stage where we stay on our game.
“There are two more big days to come now. Hopefully I didn’t leave too much out on the road today. At this point, two days out from Paris, we’re just giving it everything we’ve got now. It’s just this last couple of days to get the job done.”
Holland’s Bauke Mollema and Britain’s Adam Yates stayed second and third respectively in the general classification, while two mountain stages remain before Sunday’s processional parade into Paris.
Five-time Tour winner Eddy Merckx, meanwhile, believes Froome is untouchable at the moment and on course for many more Tour successes. He said: “You see the riders who are behind him and I don’t know who can beat him next year.”