- Froome finished third in time trial in Marseille
- France's Bardet drops to third place in overall standings
- Froome booed by French crowds
Froome, a 32-year-old Kenyan-born Briton who rides for Team Sky, finished third, six seconds behind stage winner Marciej Bodnar of Poland, who crossed the finish line of the 22.5km individual time trial in 28 minutes, 15 seconds.
"I'm so happy for Chris," Nicolas Portal, Team Sky sports director, told broadcaster Eurosport. "It was a really strong time trial. Everything was under control for him. He didn't take any risks, he paced himsef really well."
Froome extended his lead to 54 seconds, with Rigoberto Uran of Colombia leapfrogging Romain Bardet of France into third going into Sunday's run into Paris.
Barring an accident or other calamity, Froome is assured of the Tour de France victory as the final stage is traditionally a procession into Paris.
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"Moment of truth"
It was billed beforehand as "the moment of truth" in the Tour de France and Froome came through it with flying colors.
Riding in reverse order, Froome had been the last racer to go just after 4PM local time to loud boos and cheers from the French crowd.
Froome had started the time trial with a 23 second lead over France's Bardet, who faded in the second part of the time trial and hung on to a podium finish by one second.