Chris Froome lost touch with the main GC bunch in the dying throes of the 65 kilometre, 17th stage and admitted the fight for his fifth Tour title is now over.
The 33-year-old told gathered press as he worked out the kinks on the rollers, he had an intense day but no regrets.
"G has ridden such an amazing race, and he deserves to be in yellow and, fingers crossed, he holds it now until Paris."
“Thomas looks really strong so I imagine he’ll be able to finish it off. We’ve just got to try and look after him now, these next few days.”
Froome said he is willing to take one for the team.
"That's professional cycling. That's what a team is all about. I'm happy just to be in this position.
"I've won the last three grand tours I've done now, so it's certainly been a tough build-up for me, but I'm still going to try and fight for the podium."
Froome now sits third overall, two minutes and 31 seconds behind Thomas and only 16 seconds ahead of Primoz Roglic. His fight for the podium is far from over.