Porte on the up after BMC’s time trial win

Porte on the up after BMC’s time trial win

Sagan, the three-time reigning world champion, came up short in the opening stage's sprint when he crossed second behind victor Fernando Gaviria. And the second stage looked like it would feature another duel between the veteran Sagan and new star Gaviria. "We did well as a team, but disappointed not to take the win, we were so close", he said. "It was climbing a little bit in a headwind and already the last five kilometers were up and down".

Former leader Peter Sagan was dropped by his Bora Hansgrohe teammates and fell to 80th overall, three minutes behind.

"It was a strong effort from everyone", said the 33-year-old.

"But this is the biggest one in the world and you get to stand up there on the podium with your team-mates and having a team-mate jump into the yellow jersey is another cool aspect", Bevin said.

Sagan powered to the front of a group of about a dozen sprinters hunting the victory, reaching a speed of 57.6 k.p.h. on the final 500 meters on his way to the finish line.

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

Riders of the BMC Racing Team celebrate after winning the third stage of the Tour de France. The 22.1-mile loop starts and finishes in Cholet.


"There was way too much wind for me", said the slightly-built Porte.

Movistar lost 53 seconds, which leaves Colombian Nairo Quintana, twice runner-up, 1:13 behind Froome - a massive amount of time after only three days of racing.

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.

Sylvain Chavanel, who is making a record 18th Tour appearances, went on a long breakaway and soaked up the applause from the French fans before being absorbed with 13K left.

The stage began in sizzling heat with local hero Chavanel of the Direct Energie team based in this Vendee Western France region being cheered all along the 155km of a solo break. Tsgabu Grmay of Ethiopia also retired.

But Bardet will have been less happy to see his AG2R team lose more than a minute, while Bahrain-Merida struggled after a decent start and in the end the fact that Nibali lost a similar amount of time represented a decent exercise in damage limitation.

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 vehicle.

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