Van Avermaet beats Thomas to yellow jersey as Froome recovers lost time

12 Juillet, 2018, 04:13 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
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Team Sky's Geraint Thomas missed out on the yellow jersey by just three seconds, having started the day sixth in the general classification and one second up on Van Avermaet.

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

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.

Among those to take advantage were two riders who lost 51 seconds to some of their rivals on Saturday, Adam Yates, whose Mitchelton-Scott team were first off the ramp this afternoon, as well as defending champion Chris Froome, with Team Sky the next to start.

Froome was the next to go, touching shoulders with Katusha-Alpecin's Rick Zabel and being sent hurtling into a field. Rigoberto Uran's EF Education First-Drapac team gave up 35 seconds in fifth, Mikel Landa and Nairo Quintana's Movistar 54 seconds in 10th, and Vincenzo Nibali's Bahrain-Merida team 66 seconds in 11th.

"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.

Despite the setback, Quick-Step were able to regroup and only lost a further three seconds on BMC heading through the second checkpoint and finished a total of seven behind them in third place.

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"It was getting quite chaotic with the sprint teams but that's bike racing". "[It] puts us right back in the game".

"The yellow jersey is one that everyone dreams of wearing and to get it on the first day is wonderful", said Gaviria, who was making his debut in cycling's most prestigious race.

"The only thing I can really understand from it was that Chris didn't even go to the adverse analytical finding, it didn't even get to that stage, he was asked to explain himself which he got given due process to do and he was cleared by the people that run the sport and doping agency and that's all we really know".

Team Sky finished as runners-up, four seconds behind. "I am a lot happier than I was at the Dauphiné, we have a gelled unit here and a powerful one".

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.

Team Sky's Froome, his fellow riders and the organizers are all reeling from the tempestuous run-up to the Tour, which culminated Thursday with the four-time victor being roundly booed at the official presentation.

Froome, who fell heavily before the Giro d'Italia prologue but rallied two weeks later to two spectacular stage wins that won him the Tour, added: "There's still a great deal of road on the way to Paris". Smith was focussed on winning the climber's polka dot jersey, and once he had secured that after the only classified climb came early in the stage, he was called back to the bunch to help his team. He was also part of the team that won the team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico. We just wanted to get that stage.

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