The Alps behind him, Froome has one hand on Tour win No. 4

On the highest mountain-top finish of the 104th Tour de France, in a rocky moonscape where the air thins, only the hardiest organisms survive. A few pine trees, tough old grasses, some stubborn flowers and, now joining that rare breed, Chris Froome.

Putting one hand on what would be his third straight Tour crown and fourth overall since his first win in 2013, Froome emerged from the Alps on Thursday with the yellow jersey fixed firmly on his shoulders. Having chewed his way through nearly 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) of French roads, just three stages now stand between the Briton and top spot on the Champs-Elysees podium in Paris on Sunday night. And one of those is a time...