CHRIS FROOME sealed his place among Britain’s sporting greats by blasting to his FOURTH Tour de France crown.
Team Sky’s ace came third in yesterday’s individual time trial but blew away his two remaining rivals on Marseilles’ streets to clinch the Yellow Jersey as he surged into the Stade Velodrome.
And Froome, 32, can celebrate on today’s processional ride into Paris having increased his lead to 54sec — his biggest margin of the three weeks.
Now he can look forward to an emotional reunion with wife Michelle and son Kellan.
Froome said: “This is incredible. To win three Tours in a row and four in all is beyond my wildest dreams, but it doesn’t get any easier each year.
“I’ve spoken to my wife, she’s 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 and the most hard-fought between the rivals.
“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 Marseilles.
“There was a fair bit of pressure but it motivates me more.”
He is now just one win away from joining Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain in the all-time lists.
He said: “To be mentioned in the same sentence as those legends is a great honour.”
And Froome almost caught Bardet — who started two minutes ahead — as they entered the stadium but crossed just a few metres behind.
French favourite Bardet clung on to the final podium spot by just ONE sec from Froome’s Sky team-mate Mikel Landa.
Michal Kwiatkowski came second on Stage 20 by a second from Maciej Bodnar who stopped the clock in 28min 15sec.
Triumphant Brit Froome is only the seventh rider in 104 editions of the Tour to triumph without winning a single stage.