BMC beats Sky to win Tour de France team time trial

Rex Christensen
July 11, 2018

The Belgian fans were quick to point out that one of their riders would be wearing the Tour de France yellow jersey on the day their team play France in football's World Cup semi-finals.

Sagan was thrown off the Tour a year ago after being judged culpable of a fall that ended fellow sprinter Mark Cavendish's Tour. And the second stage looked like it would feature another duel between the veteran Sagan and new star Gaviria.

Greg van Avermaet was the virtual leader when Peter Sagan, in the yellow jersey, rolled down the ramp with Bora-hansgrohe and Fernando Gaviria set off with Quick-Step Floors. "It wasn't ideal to throw 51 seconds away but we have taken some good time back on some of the other GC (general classification) guys today". "I was a bit scared because Sonny was coming back strong".

Ireland's Dan Martin also struggled after his UAE Team Emirates finished 15th on the stage, one minute and 38 seconds behind BMC.

"Revenge? I already forgot about a year ago", Sagan said.

Froome, who fell into a ditch near the end of Saturday's opening stage, arrived safely with most of the peloton.

Riders of the BMC Racing Team celebrate after winning the third stage of the Tour de France.

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"I'm only some 20 seconds behind Froome so it's not that much".

Froome's misfortune is a boost for France's Romain Bardet, seen along with Quintana as the four-time champion's main rival in this year's race, and also for Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, the 2017 Giro d'Italia victor.

Among the big losers today were Nairo Quintana, whose Movistar team came home 53 seconds down on BMC Racing, Bahrain-Merida with 2014 Tour de France victor Vincenzo Nibali, 1 minute and 6 seconds down, and Romain Bardet's AG2R-La Mondiale, who came home 1 minute 15 seconds behind the day's victor.

Patrick Bevin is a stage victor at the Tour de France. Tsgabu Grmay of Ethiopia also retired.

Romain Bardet is now behind the two, meanwhile, as Ag2r-La Mondiale failed to break the 40-minute mark - team time trialling not being their forte.

Luis Leon Sanchez of Astana pulled out of the race after falling on a traffic island and getting up covered in cuts and climbing crying into the team auto.

Putting their most popular domestique into the race lead would have been a nice touch, but yesterday's main objective was to win back as much time as possible for Chris Froome, who lost 51 seconds to some of his key rivals when he rode into a roadside ditch on stage one.

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