BMC time-trial win puts Van Avermaet in yellow


We hear from Sagan's Bora-Hansgrohe sports director Enrico Poitschke about the team's victory and from Marcel Kittel, who was third yesterday but also lost the chance to contest the sprint.

Chris Froome made up some lost time on his rivals despite Team Sky failing to win the team time trial on day three of the Tour de France.

"There was way too much wind for me", said the slightly-built Porte. "I think I am in good condition and I have a good team around me but there are no doubts that this is the most important test of the season for me".

Sagan leads by six seconds from Gaviria, but the more notable name near the top of the general classification is Team Sky's Geraint Thomas, who sits in seventh, 15 seconds off the lead.

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 on Monday. "We gave it everything we had and it all went pretty much to plan".

"I was counting down the hours until it began and the first day is one of the best of the year".

"It's amusing because at the end of the day it's just another bike race".

Those who managed to avoid the problems and finish on the same time as the sprinters included Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), Mikel Landa (Movistar), Rigoberto Uran (EF-Drapac) and Dan Martin (UAE Emirates). "That's just the nature of the game".

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

"We rode out of our skin and super smooth and with the horsepower that we have did a great ride", the Irishman said.

Times were taken from the fourth rider on each eight-man team to cross the line. They were only seven seconds back and on a similar trajectory to us so you do have to wait.

"We knew it was OK to lose Luke and Wout", Thomas said. "It's been a great little journey over the past couple of months to come to this team and become part of a really tight team time trial unit and to really add to that is something I will be proud of for a long time", he said.

Fernando Gaviria could have been donning the yellow jersey had Quick-Step Floors won the stage. It was a good test for us and the team.

"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. We just wanted to get that stage.

Mark Cavendish's hopes of a 31st career Tour stage win were also scuppered by the incident but the Dimension Data rider stayed upright. The rider was the fastest in a very reduced group that resulted after a last-kilometres crash.