Alberto Contador all but secured his second Tour de France title after keeping pace with his chief rivals in the general classification on the stage-ending climb up Mont Ventoux today.
The Spaniard, who has worn the yellow jersey since last weekend, finished the 20th stage fourth and shoulder to shoulder with Andy Schleck and Lance Armstrong, who are second and third respectively overall.
With tomorrow’s final stage little more than a ceremonial trek into Paris, Contador looks to have repeated his title-winning exploits of 2007.
Today’s stage was won by Spain’s Juan Manuel Garate, who stormed clear of Tony Martin in the final 100 metres of the terrifying climb up Mont Ventoux to take glory.
Britain’s Bradley Wiggins finished 10th in the stage, more than a minute back from Garate, but preserved his fourth spot overall.
Contador heads into tomorrow four minutes and 11 seconds clear of Schleck, with Armstrong a further one minute and 13 seconds back but still on the podium.