Froome retains Dauphine lead as Pinot wins penultimate stage

MERIBEL, France (AP) French climber Thibaut Pinot won the penultimate stage of the Criterium du Dauphine after beating countryman Romain Bardet in a sprint finish Saturday, while defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome extended his overall lead.

After breaking away from the main pack, the two forged ahead and Pinot won the sprint after Bardet had attacked first.

The race's toughest stage - a 141-kilometer (87-mile) trek from La Rochette to the ski resort of Meribel - featured four big climbs and an uphill finish.

Froome finished in fourth place and is now 21 seconds ahead of Richie Porte and Bardet heading into Sunday's mountainous final stage.

The Dauphine is a warmup for the Tour, which starts on July 2 at Mont-Saint-Michel.

Froome is looking to win it for the third time.

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