Froome Extends Tour de France Lead With Finish In Sight

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Written By Saeed Maleki

Britain’s Chris Froome is leading the Tour de France and has extended his lead in his battle to retain the famous yellow jersey.

Three-time race winner Froome is the defending champion and is going for a coveted hat-trick of championships this year.

If he succeeds and crosses the finish line at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris as leader, he joins a select band of only eight riders to have achieved the feat.

Froome will join a hall of fame that includes greats such as Belgian Eddy Merckx, France’s Bernard Hinault and Spain’s Miguel Indurain.

Froome also won in 2013.

Final stages

He is currently out in front by 27 seconds – increasing his margin over second-placed Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran and Frenchman Romain Bardet.

Highly fancied Marcel Kittel abandoned his effort after crashing 20 kilometers into the demanding Croix de Fer hill climb.

Four Tour de France stages remain – including the race into Paris in which the leader traditionally goes unchallenged by the peloton.

Primoz Roglic won the latest stage in 5 hours 7 minutes and 41 seconds with Froome coming in second with three other riders 1 minute and 13 seconds behind.

Britain has dominated the world of cycling in recent years at the Tour de France and at the last two Olympics.

Crashes, illness and injury

Besides Froome’s wins, Bradley Wiggins swept to the yellow jersey in 2012. Only Italian Vincenzo Nibali has broken the nation’s hold on the title by winning in 2014.

The three-week challenge started in Germany and has threaded a 2,200-mile route through Belgium, Luxembourg and France before the showcase ending in Paris on Sunday.

This week, the riders have tackled exhausting stages in The Alps.

The decisive stage is a 22.5 km time trial before the riders enter Paris. If Froome is still in the yellow jersey by the end of the trial, he has won the race.

The mass start saw 198 riders head-off in pursuit of the title, but many of the main contenders have dropped out along the way as casualties to crashes, illness and injury.