Froome faces public 'trial' on Tour third stage

Peter Sagan is happy to be back at the Tour after being kicked out early in 2017

Team Sky, who were greeted with boos as they negotiated the course, finished in the runner's-up spot, 4 seconds behind, with Geraint Thomas moving into third place overall before van Avermaet and the Belgian's team mate, Tejay van Garderen.

Cholet: "I'm rapt as dunny paper with that one, it was a super ride by the boys", said a justifiably elated Richie Porte after the Australian and his teammates got his Tour de France campaign back on track with an impressive stage three team time trial win on Monday.

Team Sky had laid down the gauntlet with a strong effort, but having recorded an identical time over the first 13 kilometres, BMC were six seconds ahead as they passed through the second checkpoint.

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.

Froome, who fell into a ditch near the end of Saturday's opening stage, arrived safely with most of the peloton. 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.

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With grass stains on his right shoulder and back, Froome got back up and crossed 51 seconds behind Fernando Gaviria, the Colombian who claimed the race's first yellow jersey with a commanding sprint victory. I need to go into the race and just see what happens. "We didn't plan where or whatever but we knew the time was taken on the fourth guy over the line".

"It's reassuring to take back some time".

"One day you gain, one day you lose".

"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.

Dan Martin wants to build on his sixth place in the 2017 Tour de France, but admits that the team time trial could make things more hard in 2018.

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After Froome was waved off at the start in Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile by Eddy Merckx - one of the four men with five Tour titles to his name alongside Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil and Miguel Indurain - the peloton enjoyed a fairly sedate ride through the Vendee, at least for 190km.

Sir Bradley Wiggins believes anti-Team Sky sentiment within cycling led to details of Chris Froome's Salbutamol case being leaked in December. "If they could just go as long as they could and if they didn't feel great then just commit anyway, and that's what they did".

"To be honest I didn't even think about it (the yellow jersey), it was just about winning the stage".

The race lacks the kind of long, flat individual time trial where four-time victor Froome often pulverises his opponents, programming instead a medium size time-trial in the mountains where a string of climbers who would usually lose time to Froome may actually beat him. We all want to be successful here. "We are masters in it and I'm happy to be part of it".

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