Nice - Tony Gallopin took command of the Paris-Nice with a solo success on Nice's celebrated Promenade des Anglais in Saturday's sixth and penultimate stage.
The French hope goes into Sunday's closing time-trial with a 35second lead over Australia's Richie Porte, and 37s over the former holder of the yellow jersey, Polish rival Michal Kwiatkowski.
Gallopin, 26, seized control of the gruelling 180.5 kilometre ride from Vente a full 30km from the finish.
The Lotto rider was followed across the line half a minute back by a group led by Slovenian Simon Spilak and Portugal's Rui Costa.
Porte, and the Briton Geraint Thomas, who had left Kwiatkowski trailing in the last of the day's six climbs, hit the deck on the run down into Nice.
The race concludes Sunday with a 9.6km time-trial on the col d'Eze.
STAGE SIX RESULTS:
1. Tony Gallopin (France / Lotto) 4:52:57"
2. Simon Spilak (Slovenia / Katusha) +32"
3. Rui Costa (Portugal / Lampre)
4. Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark / Astana)
5. Rafael Valls (Spain / Lampre) +35"
6. Michael Valgren (Denmark / Tinkoff - Saxo) +1:00"
7. Tim Wellens (Belgium / Lotto)
8. Sylvain Chavanel (France / IAM Cycling)
9. Arthur Vichot (France / FDJ)
10. Nicolas Edet (France / Cofidis)
1. Tony Gallopin (France / Lotto) 28:49:42"
2. Richie Porte (Australia / Team Sky) +36"
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland / Etixx - Quick-Step) +37"
4. Geraint Thomas (Britain / Team Sky) +38"
5. Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark / Astana)
6. Mario Costa (Portugal / Lampre) +42"
7. Simon Spilak (Slovenia / Katusha) +53"
8. Rafael Valls (Spain / Lampre) +1:01"
9. Gorka Izagirre (Spain / Movistar) +1:19"
10. Tim Wellens (Belgium / Lotto) +2:00"