Six-time champion Lance Armstrong of the United States has won the penultimate stage of the Tour de France and all but assured himself of a seventh consecutive win.
Armstrong finished the 55-kilometer individual time trial around St. Etienne, France - the last one he will ever ride in the Tour - in one hour, 11 minutes, 46 seconds. The win was Armstrong's first stage victory in this year's Tour and strengthened his hold on the overall lead.
Jan Ullrich of Germany finished second, 23 seconds behind Armstrong with Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan third 1:16 behind the American.
Armstrong leads Basso in the overall standings by 4:40 heading into Sunday's largely ceremonial stage. Barring catastrophe, Armstrong should coast through Sunday's 144-kilometer ride from Corbeil-Essones to the Champs Elysées in Paris. The 33-year-old Armstrong has said this would be his last Tour de France.
Some information for this report provided by AP.