Tour de France: Chris Froome vows to avoid complacency on final mountain stage
Chris Froome is adamant he will avoid complacency on Saturday's final mountain stage of the Tour de France.
By Matt Westby in Le Grand-Bornand
Last Updated: 19/07/13 11:59pm
The Team Sky leader survived a 204.5km day in the Alps on stage 19 to retain his 5min 11sec lead in the general classification and now has only stage 20 to negotiate before the race's processional finale in Paris on Sunday.
The penultimate day boasts a summit finish on Annecy-Semnoz, but is only 125km in distance and Froome's closest rivals have so far failed to show the sort of form that might put him in trouble.
Nevertheless, the Briton insisted he would tackle the stage as diligently as the previous 19.
'Let's finish the job'
"I would never have imagined I would be in this strong a position coming into the penultimate day," he said.
"To be here, one day away from Paris, with a five-minute advantage to second place on the GC, it is a really good position to be in, but having said that, I don't want to get too complacent. Let's finish it up tomorrow.
"It is going to be very hard for someone to take more than five minutes in 125km, but I am going to have to stay concentrated and switched on until at least tomorrow evening."
Stage 19 contained five categorised climbs and was further complicated when heavy rain made the final two descents of the day treacherous.
Despite not being put under serious pressure and crossing the line at the same time as all of his main rivals, Froome admitted it was a weight off his shoulders to get it out of the way.
'Big sigh of relief'
"I certainly feel a big sigh of relief after today," he added. "Today was the day I was quite nervous about, so I am glad to put it behind us.
"It had a lot of climbing and, with bad weather forecast, it had the potential to get out of hand.
"There is one last day to think about the GC. One final big effort and then we can start relaxing on the ride into Paris. I am excited, but quietly excited."
As well as the general classification, Froome is also in pole position to win the mountains classification's polka dot jersey.
He leads Pierre Rolland (Europcar) by one point, with six categorised climbs to come on stage 20.
"That [the polka dot jersey] really would be a great bonus, but the yellow jersey has to come first and I have to make sure it is 100per cent secure before I can even think of the polka dot jersey," Froome said.