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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 21 February, 2018

Dan Martin's podium hopes fade after brave challenge on final mountain stage

Chris Froome closes in on his fourth yellow jersey with strong ride up Coz d’Izoard.

Martin: eighth on Thursday.
Martin: eighth on Thursday.
Image: Christophe Ena

CHRIS FROOME TOOK a significant step towards his fourth Tour de France win on Thursday as he fended off the best efforts of his GC rivals on the final mountain stage.

Froome was fourth across the line in Col d’Izoard, 20 seconds behind stage winner Warren Barguil but, crucially, clocking the same time as Romain Bardet.

Bardet did pick up a four-second time bonus but remains 23 seconds behind Froome with only Friday’s flat stage and Saturday’s time trial remaining before the race finishes with the traditional procession along the Champs-Elysees on Sunday.

Rigoberto Uran is third overall, 29 seconds behind Froome.

Source: Le Tour De France/YouTube

Ireland’s Dan Martin put in another brave challenge on Thursday to finish eighth, 39 seconds behind Bardet.

But despite his best efforts, he couldn’t close the gap on the leading trio of Froome, Bardet and Uran to give himself a meaningful shot at a podium finish in Paris, and remains in sixth place overall.

Nicolas Roche finished 33rd, 4:59 behind Barguil.

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