The Briton could become only the seventh man to win the Tour without securing a stage victory, but Hayles disagrees with claims this would be Froome's easiest yellow jersey.
Even after finishing 10 minutes behind the stage victor, Britain's Chris Froome kept alive his overall lead in the race.
To boos and whistles from the partisan crowd backing Romain Bardet, the French rider who was only 23 seconds behind him in the overall standings, Froome set off last from the Stade Velodrome football stadium.
However, Froome believes his fourth Tour de France title will come down to stamina more than anything else.
The Tour de France concludes on Sunday afternoon, but the victor will be all but decided in Marseille on Saturday evening. Fubo TV is a sports/entertainment first streaming platform available in the US.
After some early wobbles, Froome has looked in control in the Alps and with just yesterday's straightforward 222km ride south followed by a time trial in Marseille before the ceremonial roll into Paris, he looks armor-plated for the third year in a row.
Team Sky's Froome will ride into Paris for Sunday's final stage with a 54-second advantage over his nearest rival, the Colombian Rigoberto Uran of Cannondale-Drapac, after putting on an imperious display in yellow on the sunny streets of Marseille.
Bodnar, taken in the straight line final of Pau (stage 11) after a long break, won for the first time in the Tour.
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The time trial was won by Polish rider Maciej Bodnar, who covered the distance at an average speed of almost 48 kph (30 mph) on the special aerodynamic bikes the riders used for the discipline.
All being well for Froome on the Champs-Elysees, he will move ahead of three-time winners such as Greg LeMond and Louison Bobet.
"It's an unbelievable feeling", Froome said.
Phinney, a former pursuit specialist whose career was nearly ended by a crash three years ago, has been competing in his first Tour this month.
The versatile Norwegian, riding for the African-based Dimension Data team, was part of a nine-man lead group speeding towards a roundabout 2.5km from the finish line of the 222km trek from Embrun on stage 19.
"I could have won a sprint but I managed one last attack and I didn't have to have a photo finish so I'm happy about that", he added, referring to stage seven when he was edged out by Marcel Kittel despite inconclusive photographic evidence.
He said, "I was in poor health and I paid for it, in cash".
It was a joyous moment too for team boss Douglas Ryder, whose outfit uses it's Tour income to provide bicycles for Africans in rural areas.