Chris Froome hours from sealing fourth Tour de France title

MONTGERON, France (AP) Defending champion Chris Froome is just hours from sealing a fourth Tour de France title as he sets off on the final stage of this year's race.

Wearing the race leader's bright yellow jersey Sunday, the 32-year-old British rider started from Montgeron in the Essone suburb south of Paris as he headed to the finish 103 kilometers (64 miles) away on Paris' famed Champs-Elysees.

The Team Sky leader has a 54-second lead over Colombian rider Rigoberto Uran and, barring a crash, Froome is virtually assured of winning a third straight title. His first came in 2013.

Froome did not win a stage this year, and this is unlikely to happen on Sunday.

Stage 21 is reserved for sprinters, as the Tour's final stage traditionally is, with Froome and other riders lapping around Paris and its landmarks in a proccesional manner. The race leader sometimes himself the odd sip of champagne from a flute while riding.

There will be plenty more bubbly flowing on Sunday night.

Froome all but sealed his win on Saturday, finishing third in the time trial in Marseille and putting more time into Uran and Frenchman Romain Bardet, who dropped from second to third.

Froome is edging closer to five-time Tour winners Jacques Anquetil, Eddie Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain.

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