Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

New Zealand cyclist wins stage on Tour de France

New Zealand cyclist wins stage on Tour de France

BMC Racing won the 35.5-km team time trial, the third stage of the Tour de France, ahead of Chris Froome's Team Sky, here on Monday.

BMC clocked 38 minutes 46 seconds as their Belgian rider Greg van Avermaet took the overall leader's yellow jersey, with Sky in second place four seconds behind.

Sagan leads Gaviria by six seconds in the overall standings, with champion Chris Froome trailing by 1min 7sec. "It was a good sprint, slightly uphill in the end, but I had good legs and a good feeling", said Gaviria, only the second Colombian to wear the yellow jersey after Victor Hugo Pena in 2003.

Porte may be linked with a switch to the American Trek-Segafredo team next year, but the future of other riders and team staff is uncertain; and in the biggest race of the year, Monday's victory was the medicine they all collectively needed to reaffirm their overriding goal of reaching the finish as the team of the 2018 Tour victor.

It is a measure of just how much success Team Sky have enjoyed at recent Tours de France that when Geraint Thomas missed out on the yellow jersey yesterday by only three seconds he barely shrugged. "It wasn't ideal to throw 51 seconds away but we have taken some good time back on some of the other GC (general classification) guys today".

Though they regrouped quickly, with Philippe Gilbert now their yellow jersey hope, they could not make back the time they lost as they finished third on the stage.

BMC Racing Team rides during the third stage of the Tour de France in Cholet, France, Monday, July 9.

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It was also a very satisfying day for Froome, the Kenyan-born Briton ignoring some booing at the start line and making up some of the valuable time he lost on Saturday's first stage.

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

"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.

Indeed, you only had to look at the scheduled start times to see just who among the favourites was in need of gaining back some time.

In a race that could be decided by a matter of seconds, the time loss is a big early setback for Team Sky leader Froome, in the race after being cleared of any wrongdoing following a urine test that showed he had an excessive level of a banned asthma medication in last year's Tour of Spain.

Tonight's fourth stage is a flat, 195km stage in Brittany between La Baule and Sarzeau that is expected to finish in a bunch sprint.

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