Froome on the brink of history with Giro glory all-but secure
Only Sunday's procession stage stands between the British racer and Giro d'Italia success to add to his Tour de France and Vuelta a España wins.
Chris Froome effectively sealed Giro d'Italia victory and a place in history as he successfully held off his sole rival in the general classification, Tom Dumolin, on stage 20.
After Sunday's processional stage, the Team Sky rider - barring any unforeseen circumstances - will join an elite club of men to have won all three Grand Tours - the Giro, Vuelta a Espana and Tour de France.
Froome, who will become the first British man to win the Giro, is set to be the seventh rider to taste glory in cycling three's major races, while he will be just the third to win the trio in successive attempts.
Froome sensationally claimed the Maglia Rosa on the previous stage, embarking on a solo break from 80 kilometres out as long-time leader Simon Yates crumbled.
That left Froome with a 40-second lead over Team Sunweb's Dumoulin heading into Saturday's action and, although the two traded attacks towards the end of Saturday's 214km route from Susa to Cervinia, the defending champion was unable to make any inroads into his rival's lead as Froome moved to the brink of cycling immortality.
Dumoulin ultimately finished six seconds behind Froome, while the stage was won by Mitchelton-Scott's Mikel Nieve, who celebrated his 34th birthday in style.
Froome is still awaiting a verdict on the adverse analytical finding he provided en route to winning last year's Vuelta, although both he and Team Sky vehemently deny any wrongdoing.
After his stunning stage win on Friday, the Briton said: "I know I have done nothing wrong and soon that will be clear to everyone."
Pinot falls away
It was a torrid day for FDJ's Thibaut Pinot, who was third coming into the final competitive stage but fell away dramatically. Pinot toiled badly up the three climbs at the end of the route and Miguel Ángel López of Astana is now set to join Froome and Dumoulin on the podium.
1. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) 5:43:48
2. Robert Gesink (Lotto NL-Jumbo) +2:17
3. Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) +2:42
4. Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani CSF) +3:45
5. Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) +5:23
1. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 86:11:50
2. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +0:46
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +4:57
1. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) 306
2. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 232
3. Davide Ballerini (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) 127
King of the Mountains
1. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 125
2. Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani CSF) 108
3. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 91
A ceremonial stage for Froome and the rest of the competitors as they ride the 118km around Rome.
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