Result: Bradley Wiggins won the 53-km time-trial stage which seemed almost tailor-made for him.
Wearing yellow for the 12th day, Wiggins completed the course in 1.04:12, taking his overall lead to 3:21 after his team mate Chris Froome took second to ensure the 32-year-old would win his first Tour on tomorrow’s final stage - a procession down the Champs Elysees.
How it happened: It really all went according to plan for Sky between Bonneval and Chartres. Froome would be first through the checkpoints and he was fastest of the day through the first 14km and again after 30km, until Wiggins finally made his way down the ramp.
The Belgian-born Briton took 54 seconds off Froome’s 30km time and from there he maintained speed and punched the air as he crossed the line.
What they said: “I wanted to go out and finish with a bang. You couldn’t write a better script really.” – Bradley Wiggins.
What about the Irish? Nicholas Roche gave up more time to Thibaut Pinot and, having a top-10 finish as his main objective this year, tweeted in the past hour: “Not a great day at all… Will have to content myself with 12th.” Dan Martin was again quietly impressive display coming in 32nd.
And what happens tomorrow? The peloton rolls into Paris — Wiggins with the obligatory flute of champagne — before a sprint for the line on the Champs Elysee. Mark Cavendish will be eyeing another stage win to top a seriously good three weeks of Team Sky.