Ice-cool Froome on brink of fourth Tour triumph

Pic: Reuters

Chris Froome kept his composure in a hostile environment as he virtually secured a fourth Tour de France title after extending his overall lead with a good showing in Saturday's 22.5-km time trial through the streets of Marseille.

The Briton was booed by the crowd in the Stade Velodrome -- where the penultimate stage started and ended -- and also in the Old Port and on the climb up to Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde, as he took third place behind two Poles, with Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) winning in 28:15 ahead of Michal Kwiatkowski.

Froome finished six seconds off the pace and five behind his Sky team mate Kwiatkowski, who has been instrumental in his leader's ride to what should be his third consecutive, and Team Sky's fifth, victory in the last six years.

Providing Froome avoids any calamities on the 103-km trek from Montgeron to the capital he will take his Tour haul to four in the last five years -- just one behind cycling greats Miguel Indurain of Spain, Belgium's Eddy Merckx and Frenchmen Bernard Hinault and Jacques Anquetil.

Despite the boos, Froome was gracious.

"The atmosphere here is incredible, it's huge," he said.