Froome's 2017 Tour de France victory was his 'most hard-fought'

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Chris Froome is set to win the Tour de France for a fourth time and he believes 2017 provided the "most hard-fought" battle in the general classification.

The pressure was on as Team Sky rider Froome went into Saturday's penultimate stage – a 22.5-kilometre individual time trial in Marseille – with a 23-second advantage in the GC.

But the 32-year-old far outstripped his closest rivals Romain Bardet and Rigoberto Uran with the third-quickest time of the day, meaning he will be champion for the fourth time in five years when he finishes the final procession stage in Paris on Sunday.

Having extended his GC lead to 54 seconds, Froome reflected on a battle he did not expect to go as far as it did.

"[It's] just an amazing feeling. Absolutely an amazing feeling. Obviously, it was so close coming into this time trial. It was basically all still to race for out on the road today so I'm just blown away," Froome said.

"I just spoke to my wife, she's just headed off to Paris with my son, I can't wait to get there now.

"It's definitely been the closest [Tour I've won], the closest and most hard-fought between the rivals.

"I think given the route we had this year, it was always going to be a close race, but I didn't expect it would come right down to the line in this TT in Marseille.

"There was a fair bit of pressure, but I think for me it's always a good thing having pressure. It just motivates me even more."