Chris Froome set to win Giro d'Italia after retaining leader's jersey

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Chris Froome is set to complete a remarkable victory in the Giro d'Italia after retaining the leader's pink jersey at the end of stage 20.

The Team Sky rider need only safely negotiate Sunday's largely ceremonial final stage to lay his hands on a third straight Grand Tour title, following his wins at the Tour de France and La Vuelta last year.

Mikel Nieve won the 20th and penultimate stage but Froome, who held off reigning champion Tom Dumoulin, will become the first British rider to take the honours at the Giro and join Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault as the only other men to hold the three Grand Tour titles simultaneously.

Dumoulin made several game but unsuccessful attempts at leaving Froome behind and ended up accepting his fate in the final phase of racing.

"It's just an amazing feeling, could you see that outcome coming?" he told Eurosport 1.

"That's what it's all about, making people dream. If you want to achieve something, you've got to believe in it first. I had this huge goal to try and achieve and I think once you really believe in it you're 90 per cent of the way there.

"It has been such a brutal race, absolutely brutal, but it has been a beautiful, beautiful event."

Froome's adverse analytical finding for Salbutamol at the 2017 Vuelta may continue to rumble on without conclusion but in the absence of closure on that issue, he continues to build an astonishing list of achievements.

He has, of course, not acted alone and he paid fulsome tribute to his Team Sky colleagues for continuing to back him even when he was deep in the field with glory a seemingly distant hope.

"I have to say that was a really big part of being able to do what I did, everyone believing in me and buying into the one plan we had," he said.

"A lot of times when things don't work out for general classification teams start falling apart, they lose breakaways and teams start doing their own thing.

"For the guys to say 'we believe in you' feels amazing. To be able to repay them after two and half, three weeks hard work feels amazing."