BMC time-trial win puts Van Avermaet in yellow

BMC time-trial win puts Van Avermaet in yellow

BMC time-trial win puts Van Avermaet in yellow

"There is lots to come but we're happy with how it went today and the first two days".

Richie Porte's BMC Racing have claimed victory in the team trial on the third stage of the Tour de France.

Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and François Thomazeau discuss the stage and Peter Sagan's first Tour stage win since his disqualification from last year's race.

While others were left to pick their way through the chaos, Sagan was in the bunch that got through cleanly, and victory was enough for yellow following his second place on Saturday.

Few could have predicted the wild final run into Fontenay on Saturday which left four-time champion Froome, who fell into a ditch, and other favorites Richie Porte and Adam Yates trailing stage victor Fernando Gaviria in the overall standings by 1 min and 1 sec.

"Team EF-Drapac managed to cut their losses for Rigoberto Uran - their powerful TTT team stopping the clock in 39'21" - while Team Sunweb also ensured they lost very little over the potentially tricky parcours.

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Mark Cavendish, victor of a record 30 Tour de France stages, and Sagan, who was gunning for a sixth green jersey, both left the Tour after a notorious incident where the Slovak was thrown out of the race after being ruled guilty of the Briton's Tour ending date with the tarmac.

The Tour remains in the Vendee region for Stage 2 today, another flat leg of 113.4 miles from Mouilleron-Saint-Germain to the department capital of La Roche-sur-Yon.

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.

"It was Sagan's choice and he said he considered the better jersey was the world champion one", a Skoda spokesman, the Tour green jersey sponsor, told AFP. "I was a bit scared because Sonny was coming back strong".

" He's still for me the favourite to win the Tour de France and he's proved in the past that he can deal with whatever has been thrown at him."

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

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

Two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana is 1:31 back after he lost time following the puncture of both his tires near the end of Stage 1.

After the first stage that hugged the Atlantic coast, the race rolled inland through green pastures, forest groves and yellow wheat fields baked by the summer sun. Tsgabu Grmay of Ethiopia also retired.

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

Speaking in Eurosport's brand new "The Bradley Wiggins Show", he said that, even though the case has overshadowed the sport all year, the Team Sky rider - and his former team-mate - has risen above all the criticism and his ability dictates he should still be the man to beat this year.

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