Tom Dumoulin won Stage 20 of the Tour de France on Saturday, while Geraint Thomas defended his lead in the overall standings and Chris Froome fought his way back into the top three.
It’s now almost certain that Thomas will win the Tour when the race wraps up in Paris on Sunday.
Dumoulin, who has maintained a consistent second place behind Thomas since Stage 17, finished first in the 2018 Tour’s only individual time trial, a hilly, 31K affair in the far southwest of France. In doing so, the Sunweb rider all but assured himself a second-place position atop the final podium.
Froome, who had been knocked out of the top-three overall on Friday, placed second in the ITT, finishing only 1 second behind Dumoulin and clawing his way back into third place in the General Classification. He now leads Primož Roglič, who had briefly unseated Froome for third with a victory on Stage 19, by 16 seconds.
Roglič, of the Lotto-Jumbo team, failed to follow up his feat in the time trial. He finished seventh on the stage, at 1:12 behind Dumoulin.
Getty ImagesJustin Setterfield
Thomas, Froome’s Sky teammate, claimed the yellow jersey on Stage 11 and has held onto it ever since. He came in third in the ITT, finishing 14 seconds behind Dumoulin. He now leads Dumoulin by 1:59 and Froome by 2:31 in the GC.
Barring some kind of unlikely catastrophe on the final, largely ceremonial stage to Paris on Sunday, the 32-year-old Thomas will soon win his first-ever Tour de France. It will be Team Sky’s sixth yellow jersey in the last seven editions of the race.
Bradley Wiggins won Sky’s first, in 2012. Froome took another four, winning the Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017. He had been aiming for a fifth title this year, but while the team’s leadership had been up for debate in the final week of the race, it became clear after Stage 17 that Froome would start riding for Thomas.
Now, it looks like that strategy has paid off.
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