Porte on the up after BMC’s time trial win

Peter Sagan is happy to be back at the Tour after being kicked out early in 2017

Team Sky finished four seconds off the pace in second, just about edging out Quick-Step Floors, as defending champion Chris Froome made up 12 seconds in the general classification.

Froome's loyal lieutenant, tough Welsh all-rounder Geraint Thomas, brushed off the issue of the cheering at his captain's tumble.

Fernando Gaviria showed why he can become the future of Grand Tour sprinting on Saturday as he edged out Peter Sagan and Marcel Kittel for victory on stage one of the Tour de France.

"It looks like people have just come out for a fun day", he said.

The four time victor of the yellow jersey was hoping for a quiet start to his Tour but it wasn't to be as he took a tumble on the run-in, and ended up losing a considerable chunk of time to the majority of of his general classification rivals.

"We expected some crashes in this tricky final and moved up early", said Enrico Poitschke, sports director of Sagan's Bora-Hansgrohe team.

They could not all avoid trouble themselves, with Mark Cavendish unable to contest the sprint after his Dimension Data team-mates got caught out of position amid the carnage. "Everything turned out ideal".

Sagan powered to the front of a group of about a dozen sprinters hunting the victory, reaching a speed of 57.6 k.p.h. on the final 500 meters on his way to the finish line.

"It was a mess over those last five kilometres all up and down and then going up the hill there was a headwind", he said. "It was a mess", Sagan said. The goal is to stay healthy, the main thing to come out of previous year is the belief and confidence it gave me.

Gaviria required 4 hours, 23 minutes to complete the mostly flat 201-kilometre (125-mile) stage from the island of Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile on the Atlantic coast to Fontenay-le-Comte.

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Froome is 1:07 behind Sagan's leading time as he pursues a fifth Tour title.

Freshly cleared of doping, the Team Sky rider was booed at by the crowd at the Tour teams presentation on Thursday.

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

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.

Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), and Michael Gogl (Trek-Segafredo) set off on a breakaway after the start, but the 39-year-old Chavanel soon shed the other two in his record 18th Tour participation.

Team Sky, another unusual early starter, were booed by roadside spectators throughout their effort but posted nearly identical times through the first two time checks - as did BMC Racing, who also found themselves in an unfamiliar early start time.

Tsgabu Grmay of Ethiopia also retired.

Astana climber Luis Leon Sanchez later called it quits after he fell and bloodied his left arm.

The three-week Tour ends July 29 in Paris.

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