Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas held his nerve in the final day of the mountains, to finish second, 19 seconds behind Primoz Roglic, on stage 19 of the Tour de France to increase his overall lead by 2mins 05secs on Friday.
The key to Team Lotto’s Roglic’ stage victory was the way he attacked the ascent to Col d’Aubisque and then on the descent, with 13km to go, bringing Thomas and Dumoulin with him.
Roglic sped up even more downhill to create a gap, with 8km to go, and held on to cross the line, 19 seconds ahead of Thomas.
With two stages left, Thomas leads Dutchman Dumoulin by two minutes, five seconds with Saturday’s 31km individual time trial to come.
The final stage takes place on Sunday with a processional finale into Paris which will see no change in the standings.
Should Thomas still lead after Saturday’s time trial he will become the third Briton to win the race, after Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, when he crosses the finish line in Paris.
Defending champion Froome has dropped to fourth place overall after stage 19 with Roglic jumping above him in the standings.
Stage 19 result:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Team LottoNL-Jumbo) 5hrs 28mins 17secs
2. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) +19secs
3. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) same time
4. Daniel Martin (Ire/UAE Team Emirates)
5. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe)
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Team Sunweb)
7. Mikel Landa (Spa/Movistar)
8. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky)
9. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/Lotto NL-Jumbo) +31secs
10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus/Katusha-Alpecin) same time
General classification after stage 19:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) 79hrs 49mins 31secs
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Team Sunweb) +2mins 05secs
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Team LottoNL-Jumbo) +2mins 24secs
4. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +2mins 37secs
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/Lotto NL-Jumbo) +4mins 37secs
6. Mikel Landa (Spa/Movistar) +4mins 40secs
7. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) +5mins 15secs
8. Daniel Martin (Ire/UAE Team Emirates) +6mins 39secs
9. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar Team) +10mins 26secs
10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus/Katusha-Alpecin) +11mins 49secs