A day after his biggest rival, Alberto Contador, all but admitted defeat, Britain’s Chris Froome finished third in the twentieth stage of the 2013 Tour de France on Saturday, essentially guaranteeing a victory barring some sort of bizarre mishap or wreck Sunday. Colombia’s Nairo Quintana won the 125-kilometer stage, becoming the first Colombian to win a stage of the Tour since Mauricio Soler in 2007.
Quintana, second overall to Froome, was ecstatic after the stage (via Reuters): “I can’t ask for more. I almost have everything, it’s fantastic. Thank you to my team mates and my sports directors, who have helped me achieve this.”
The real big winner on Saturday was Froome, though. The British rider now leads Quintana by 5:03 overall and Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez by 5:47. Contador, who won the Tour in 2007 and 2009, had a terrible day of racing, dropping back to fourth overall and 7:10 behind Froome.
If Froome indeed holds on to his lead as he is expected to, it’d be the second consecutive year a British cyclist has won the Tour de France, with Bradley Wiggins having captured the 2012 yellow jersey (Wiggins missed the race this year due to a knee injury).
Sunday’s stage will be largely ceremonial, ending with a finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.