Chris Froome effectively wins Tour de France ahead of largely ceremonial final stage

  • Updated: July 20, 2013 - 6:04 PM

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ANNECY-SEMNOZ, France — Chris Froome has effectively wrapped up a Tour de France victory, putting himself in position to become Britain's second successive champion after Bradley Wiggins.

Froome retained his big race lead in the penultimate stage before Sunday's processional run-in to Paris.

Froome finished third in Stage 20 to the ski station of Annecy-Semnoz, won by Colombian rider Nairo Quintana. The 125-kilometer (78-mile) trek was the last of four successive stages in the Alps and the final significant obstacle Froome needed to overcome before Sunday's usually relaxed ride to the finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Froome easily retained his lead. Alberto Contador, who had been second at the start of the day, struggled on the final climb and dropped off the podium.

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