Bradley Wiggins finished fourth in Saturday's penultimate stage of the Criterium du Dauphine.
Wiggins leads the standings ahead of his Team Sky team-mate Michael Rogers heading into Sunday's final stage.
He was 24 seconds behind stage winner Nairo Quintana of Movistar, with BMC Racing's Cadel Evans in second.
"The Dauphine isn't over yet but we've done the hardest part. It should be OK tomorrow but you never know," Wiggins said.
Quintana beat Evans by 16 seconds, with a group containing Wiggins and fellow Team Sky riders Rogers and Chris Froome crossing the line eight seconds later.
Wiggins leads Rogers by one minute 20 seconds heading into Sunday's final 124.5 km stage from Morzine to Chatel, with Tour de France champion Evans a further 16 seconds behind.
And the Briton praised his team-mates for their selflessness in setting a quick pace to test his nearest challengers for the title.
"I have so much to thank them for again," he said.
"They made my job easier for sure. We've trained as a group for a very long time, and we did that in Tenerife. We had three or four guys riding uphill together (in their training sessions) like that, so it was nice to be all up there today."
RadioShack-Nissan's Andy Schleck dropped out of the race at the 64km mark with an injury.
The team's sports director Alain Gallopin said Schleck is still suffering from the effects of a crash during Thursday's time trial.
"He couldn't pedal anymore," he told letour.fr.
"Since he crashed during the time trial, the whole right side of his body was hurting.
"He was climbing all right but he was struggling to hold his bike. Yesterday, he managed to finish, but today racing had become too difficult."