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Tour de France: Has Chris Froome already won?

Key talking points ahead of the race's final week

Great Britain's Christopher Froome (C), wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, rides in the pack during the 209 km sixteenth stage of the 103rd editio
Image: There are five stages left in the 2016 Tour de France

Chris Froome has opened up a 1min 47sec lead at the top of the Tour de France general classification and appears firmly on course to win the race for the third time.

He has been aided by the fact his rivals are yet to hit him with a serious attack, but he has also benefited from superb performances from his team-mates.

Here, we discuss the main talking points from the race so far…

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Can anyone stop Froome?

It's still possible for Froome to lose the Tour, but betting against him now would be a long shot on par with backing Leicester City to win the Premier League.

Firstly, there has been nothing whatsoever to suggest that any of his rivals are strong enough or well-placed enough to beat him. Bauke Mollema and Adam Yates are both putting up a fight but appear to be riding at their limits already, Nairo Quintana has been dreadful, and Richie Porte, Romain Bardet and Fabio Aru are all too far back.

Chris Froome, Tour de France
Image: Froome currently looks unbeatable at the Tour

Secondly, even if a rival does suddenly find form and decides to attack Froome, they will almost certainly be hunted down by Team Sky's relentless mountain domestiques, who have been so good and are so numerous that getting away from them - let alone getting away from Froome - appears virtually impossible at the moment.

Vincenzo Nibali proved a race is not finished until the final stage is completed by pulling off one of the most remarkable late comebacks in history at the Giro d'Italia in May, but a similar shock at the Tour just doesn't look likely.

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Will Froome rest up?

Given how comfortable he appears to be in the yellow jersey, there is a very real chance Froome could race the whole final week on the defensive and preserve as much energy as he can.

Chris Froome, Tour de France, stage 15
Image: Froome is also targeting the Olympic Games and Vuelta a Espana

Two weeks after the Tour, Froome is aiming to win the Olympic road race and time trial, and then in August and September he is almost certain to attempt to win the Vuelta a Espana, so emerging from these three weeks as fresh as possible is of paramount importance.

Sitting behind his team-mates day after day in the Alps and letting them chase down his rivals won't make for spectacular racing or win him any fans, but if it aids Froome's Olympic and Vuelta chances, it makes perfect sense.

Tour de France guide
Tour de France guide

Day-by-day guide to the biggest race in cycling

Is Quintana ill?

Quintana's form has been so toothless and subdued that you have to wonder if he is ill.

A rider would never admit he is under the weather because it's an open invitation for his rivals to attack him, but what other explanation can there be for being so utterly invisible?

Nairo Quintana on stage 10 of the 2016 Tour de France
Image: Nairo Quintana has been well below par so far at the Tour

Granted, he went on the attack a couple of times on Mont Ventoux on stage 12, but they were timid, half-hearted efforts and when the real shots started being fired a couple of kilometres later, he couldn't follow Froome, Porte and Mollema and ended up losing time.

Having mounted a comeback in last year's Tour but ultimately left himself with too much ground to make up, he surely wouldn't make the same strategic mistake again, so questions have to instead be asked of his health and fitness.

The Tour resumes on Wednesday with a 184.5km 17th stage ending with a summit finish at Finhaut-Emosson. Find out more about the route in our race guide and follow the stage with our live blog from 12pm BST. 

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