SAINT-NAZAIRE, France (AP) — Given the way Chris Froome is riding, he could take a big step toward winning the Tour de France on Wednesday.

That's when Froome gets the chance to extend his lead over the likes of two-time champion Alberto Contador, 2010 winner Andy Schleck and 2011 winner Cadel Evans in the Tour's first individual time trial, one of his favorite disciplines.

Froome's rivals are already lagging behind after two punishing days of climbing in the Pyrenees that underlined the British rider's status as the clear favorite.

Contador is nearly two minutes back but has not given up hope. He says "everyone's legs are hurting, but if you don't think you can succeed then you never will. So we have to take a few risks."

 

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