Vincenzo Nibali claimed his fourth stage success of the 101st Tour de France on Thursday to all-but seal overall victory.
Nibali (Astana) added victory on the 145.5-kilometre 18th stage from Pau to Hautacam to wins in Sheffield, La Planche des Belles Filles and Chamrousse.
The Italian began the day with an advantage of five minutes 26 seconds and enhanced his lead to a near-unassailable 7mins 10secs with just three stages to go.
Bar a major blow, he will win the yellow jersey in Paris on Sunday, and the battle to join him on the podium intensified on Thursday.
Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) was second on the stage, 1min 10secs behind Nibali, to move up to second place overall.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who began the day in second, finished 10th, 1:59 behind, to drop to fourth overall, 7:25 behind Valverde.
Pinot is second by 13 seconds from Jean-Christophe Peraud, who was fourth on the stage, with Valverde two seconds further back.