Britain's Bradley Wiggins will target the Paris-Nice race title on Sunday, having maintained a six-second lead during Saturday's penultimate stage.
Belgian Thomas De Gendt was victorious on stage seven from Sisteron to Nice, ahead of Rein Taaramae of Estonia.
One of Wiggins's rivals, American Levi Leipheimer, began the stage in third place overall but crashed three times and fell several places behind.
Sunday's final stage is an uphill 9.6km time trial to Col d'Eze.
Wiggins finished 31st on the seventh stage, nearly 10 minutes behind De Gendt.
Did you know?
The only previous Briton to win the Paris-Nice race was
in 1967 - a few months before he died on the slopes of the Mont Ventoux during the Tour de France
But in the overall standings, he leads Dutchman Lieuwe Westra by six seconds.
De Gendt said of Vacansoleil team-mate Westra: "Lieuwe is, in this moment, one of the best climbers in this race and two days ago he was better than Bradley Wiggins on the climb.
"I think six seconds is not much. Tomorrow is his first uphill time trial but I think he's going to surprise himself and I'm sure he's going to win the race."
Meanwhile, Wiggins's Team Sky team-mate
struggled in the fourth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico coast to coast race in Italy on Saturday.
The Isle of Man rider,
outshone by Sky team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen on Friday,
came home in 146th place, leaving him 138th in the overall standings. The fourth stage, from Amelia to Chieti, was won by Slovakian Peter Sagan.
American Chris Horner came fifth, taking the leader's blue jersey from Australian Matthew Goss.