Sanchez ahead early on
Luis-Leon Sanchez was the early leader of the stage 19 time-trial on a day Bradley Wiggins was seeking to all-but seal his Tour de France win.
Wiggins entered Saturday's 53.5-kilometre 19th stage time-trial from Bonneval to Chartres with an advantage of two minutes five seconds over Team Sky colleague Chris Froome and was set to be the last rider of the 153-strong peloton to roll down the starting ramp.
Froome was set to be the penultimate rider to take to the course as he too eyed history - no Briton finished on the Tour podium in the 98 previous editions of the race.
Sanchez (Rabobank) began 88th and finished the route in one hour six minutes three seconds.
Germany's Patrick Gretsch (Argos-Shimano) was provisionally second, 38 seconds behind in 1hr 6mins 41secs, after 105 riders had completed the course.
Briton David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) completed the course in 1.10:35, 4:32 behind Sanchez, with compatriot Mark Cavendish finishing in 1.11:11.
Steve Cummings finished in 1.12:04.
Cavendish, who won stage 18, was seeking to complete a stunning Tour for Britain on Sunday's 120km final stage from Rambouillet to Paris.
The 27-year-old Manxman has completed the Tour three times and won on the Champs-Elysees on each occasion - in 2009, 2010 and 2011.