Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Tour de France: BMC win stage three team time trial

Tour de France: BMC win stage three team time trial

Three of the early starters were the big winners on stage three of the 2018 Tour de France, as BMC Racing won the stage - and the yellow jersey - and Richie Porte, Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) gained back time lost to their rivals on stages one and two.

The result saw Greg Van Avermaet take the yellow jersey, while BMC Racing leader Richie Porte, who lost 51 seconds on the opening stage, is now up to 14th on the general classification.

The Solvakian's Bora Hansgrohe team finished in seventh spot, 50 seconds down on the stage winners, but he will wear the green jersey on stage four.

Overall, Froome is in 18th place, 55 seconds off the pace and still 44 behind 2017 Giro d'Italia victor Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, who with Team Sunweb only lost seven seconds to the Briton today.

Porte may be linked with a switch to the American Trek-Segafredo team next year, but the future of other riders and team staff is uncertain; and in the biggest race of the year, Monday's victory was the medicine they all collectively needed to reaffirm their overriding goal of reaching the finish as the team of the 2018 Tour victor.

Froome's teammate Geraint Thomas could prove a thorn in his side as the Welshman, who underlined his credentials by winning the Criterium du Dauphine in June, is third overall, 52sec ahead of his leader.

"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.

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BMC Racing Team rides during the third stage of the Tour de France in Cholet, France, Monday, July 9.

"I don't think it is a bad thing to have the yellow jersey for a team looking for a sponsor", said Porte, who crashed out of last year's Tour and lost time in Stage 1 of this edition.

Wrong! The Tour de France's stage 3 TTT was an important part of the battle for the yellow jersey. It would have been nice not to have lost it in the first place.

"We're taking some time back on some of the other GC guys", said Porte.

Vincenzo Nibali's Bahrain-Merida squad were 11th on the day, giving up 62 seconds to Team Sky, while Romain Bardet's AG2R La Mondiale team finished 12th, 71 seconds back.

"This makes up for a year ago", he said. "It's still a long way to go, six more hectic days and the mountains".

The Tour heads into the cycling hotbed of Brittany on Tuesday for Stage 4, a mostly flat 195-kilometer (121-mile) leg from La Baule to Sarzeau that starts and ends on the Atlantic coast.

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