Alberto Contador backing Chris Froome to hold on for overall Tour de France victory

The two-time winner things Froome will do enough in the final mountain stage and the time trial to win a fourth Tour title

Alberto Contador attacks on stage 17 of the 2017 Tour de France
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Trek-Segafredo leader Alberto Contador has backed Chris Froome (Sky) to win this year’s Tour de France ahead of the race’s final day in the mountains.

Speaking after the finish of stage 17 Contador said Froome, who currently wears the yellow jersey, was the favourite for the overall victory.

>>> Chris Froome passes Tour de France’s first big test in the Alps to retain yellow jersey

“I think the time trial in Marseille [on Saturday] will be very good for Froome. In this moment the favourite is Froome but we don’t know what will happen tomorrow and with the strong team that [Ag2r leader Romain] Bardet has maybe he can do something,” said the Spanish veteran.

Contador had started the Tour at the beginning of July hoping for victory to add to his seven Grand Tour titles. However, he has been off the pace, and hindered by injuries sustained in crashes on stage nine.

At the start of Wednesday’s mountain stage through the Alps, Contador was over seven minutes down in the GC battle and targeting stage wins.

The Spaniard “did a time trial” to bridge up to an early break on the races climb and spent most of the stage at the front of the race with is team-mates Bauka Mollema and Jarlinson Pantano pulling hard to keep the group clear .

Contador attacked on the slopes of the Galibier but was then countered by eventual stage winner Primoz Roglic (LottoNL Jumbo). He ended up being swept up by the group of GC favourites and finished the stage 31 seconds down in eighth place.

He said: “Ok, in the last part of the Galibier I paid for this big effort. I can’t do more, it was a very long stage at 190km, you can’t fight off the peloton.”

Vern Pitt

Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, world championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the middle east. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.