Froome: Uran my closest rival for decisive time trial
Chris Froome still expects Rigoberto Uran to be his closest challenger when the fight for the Tour de France yellow jersey concludes on Saturday, despite Romain Bardet closing the gap to the Briton by moving into second on Thursday.
Warren Barguil took glory on the final mountain stage of the Tour as he clinched the King of the Mountains jersey, while AG2R La Mondiale's Bardet beat Froome to third place, clinching four bonus seconds to leapfrog Uran.
The Frenchman is now 23 seconds behind Froome with two stages to go before the processional final run to the Champs-Elysees on Sunday, Friday's 19th stage a flat one that should have little impact on the general classification before a pivotal time trial in Marseille on Saturday.
Despite being in pole position to claim a fourth Tour title, Froome is not taking anything for granted and is not discounting Cannondale's Uran, who is 29 seconds off the pace.
"Of course it would have been nice to take a little bit of time today [Thursday], but I'm pretty happy with that and I took two seconds on Rigoberto Uran who I think will be my biggest rival in the time trial," Froome said.
"I'm pretty happy, the team was fantastic in the final and it's great having the numbers there to control things.
"I tried to give it a little dig behind [on the final climb], I thought I had a gap, but Rigoberto Uran brought it back.
"Uran and Bardet have both ridden a very good race so far, Romain Bardet taking the bonus seconds, he can be pretty happy with that.
"I think it's all still to race for in the final time trial to Marseille. It's still close, it's still everything to race for.
"If everything goes well I would fancy my chances in the time trial against the other guys but anything could happen still. It's still very close."