Britain's Bradley Wiggins remains six seconds clear of the chasing pack after the sixth stage of the Paris-Nice race was won by Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez.
Lieuwe Westra is closest to Wiggins with American Levi Leipheimer 10 seconds off the Team Sky race leader.
Two stages remain of the race which concludes with a 9.6 km uphill time trial up the Col d'Eze on Sunday.
"I'm taking it day by day. I know the Col d'Eze but it's always useful to go and see it again," said Wiggins.
Wiggins' priority for 2012 is to challenge in the overall standings at the Tour de France and Leipheimer, who finished third in the 2007 showpiece, is likely to pose the greatest challenge to Wiggins over the final stage.
Sanchez claimed the narrow stage win after outsprinting 40-year-old Jens Voigt in the final 200m after the pair had pulled clear of the rest of a seven-man breakaway group.
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spain / Rabobank) 4:07:58 hours
2. Jens Voigt (Germany / RadioShack) same time
3. Heinrich Haussler (Australia / Garmin) +14 seconds
4. Elia Viviani (Italy / Liquigas)
5. Grega Bole (Slovenia / Lampre)
6. Alexander Kristoff (Norway / Katusha)
7. Samuel Dumoulin (France / Cofidis)
8. Romain Feillu (France / Vacansoleil)
9. Koen de Kort (Netherlands / Project 1t4i)
10. Jacopo Guarnieri (Italy / Astana)
1. Bradley Wiggins (Britain / Team Sky) 22:31:52 hours
2. Lieuwe Westra (Netherlands / Vacansoleil) +6 seconds
3. Levi Leipheimer (U.S. / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) +10"
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spain / Movistar) +18"
5. Simon Spilak (Slovenia / Katusha) +37"
6. Tejay Van Garderen (U.S. / BMC Racing) +39"
7. Maxime Monfort (Belgium / RadioShack) +46"
8. Arnold Jeannesson (France / FDJ) +1:06"
9. Sylvain Chavanel (France / Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) +1:16"
10. Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia / Astana) +1:21"