Froome on brink of maiden success

Yellow jersey leader and 1/66 outright favourite Chris Froome is inching closer to “probably the worst Tour to try to win”, according to Team Sky team principal Sir David Brailsford.

Froome has just one more day to survive in the high mountains before winning a maiden Tour de France and his route to securing the maillot jaune has, at times, been equally fraught.

The 28-year-old, who is five minutes 11 seconds ahead of two-time winner Alberto Contador in the General Classification, has had to fend off questions from journalists keen to know the secret behind his success.

Brailsford suggested Froome is paying a price in the aftermath of the Lance Armstrong scandal, which uncovered years of doping and saw the American stripped of seven Tour titles.

“It’s probably the worst Tour to try to win, the one where all the Armstrong thing comes out, the lid’s taken off and everybody realised what was going on,” Brailsford told reporters.

“You come to the first Tour after that…you’d expect that the public who trusted in this sport for a long time to be a bit angry and a bit frustrated with what they found out. It’s understandable.”

Stage 20 on Saturday, covering 125km, ends with a tough hors categorie (beyond categorisation) climb to the finish line at Annecy-Semnoz.

Podium contender Nairo Quintana of Movistar Team is the 15/8 favourite to claim the win on the penultimate day of racing, while Joaquin Rodriguez is next best in the betting at 9/4.

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