BMC beats Froome’s Sky to win Tour de France team time trial

Vincenzo Nibali

Richie Porte has clawed back some much-needed time after BMC Racing claimed victory in the team trial on the third stage of the Tour de France.

BMC proved the class of the field, completing the 35.5km circuit around Cholet in a time of 38 minutes 46 seconds, four seconds ahead of Sky, to put Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet in yellow.

Porte has moved up to 14th, 51 seconds off the lead and 4 seconds ahead of defending champion Chris Froome who rose to 18th.

While Sky's top-placed rider is Geraint Thomas three seconds off the lead, 2017 Giro victor Dumoulin is just 11 seconds down, but perhaps Bardet is the man with the most to smile about at this stage. Then Arnaud Demare went for it first and I just tried to stay on his wheel.

"It's been a great little journey over the past couple of months to come to this team and become part of a really tight team time trial unit and to really add to that is something I will be proud of for a long time", he said.

It is a measure of just how much success Team Sky have enjoyed at recent Tours de France that when Geraint Thomas missed out on the yellow jersey yesterday by only three seconds he barely shrugged. We'll take it day by day.

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"In the meantime, Team Sunweb kept Tom Dumoulin at the business end of the overall standings with a ride of 38'58", conceding just 11 seconds to BMC. Through the jury's decision, in the final version as many as 116 riders had the same time as the leg victor, Peter Sagan (4:06:37 hour) i.e.all those who were in the peloton at the time of the crash. One day you gain, one day you lose.

Among Froome's main rivals, France's Romain Bardet lost 1:15 today and now trails the Briton by 20 seconds.

On a short climb at the halfway point in the course, however, the Belgian team was forced to regroup as the pace forced riders - including Gaviria - off the back, costing the handful of seconds that might have put Gilbert in yellow.

Movistar lost 53 seconds, which leaves Colombian Nairo Quintana, twice runner-up, 1:13 behind Froome - a massive amount of time after only three days of racing.

"It was a huge challenge for the team, it's been incredible for us", said the 33-year-old Briton who was jeered when his name was announced on the starting ramp.

Tomorrow the Tour de France 204-kilometre sprint stage with the only mountain of the fourth category, which the participants of the race will overcome 60 kilometers from the finish.

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