Defending champion Froome booed as BMC edge Sky in team time-trial

Vincenzo Nibali

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.

BMC clocked 38min 46sec as their Belgian rider Greg van Avermaet took the overall leader's yellow jersey, with Sky in second place 4sec behind.

What had once been viewed as an opportunity to make time had become a chance to gain it back after Froome lost 51 seconds to his main rivals on Saturday.

Sagan leads Gaviria by six seconds in the overall standings, with champion Chris Froome trailing by 1min 7sec.

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 today. "We've got some specialists in the team, I'm so happy we got this collective victory".

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.

Van Avermaet earned the yellow jersey just ahead of American teammate Tejay van Garderen, who moved up to second overall, with the same time as Van Avermaet. We'll take it day by day.

"Obviously the (Tour) didn't start too well with the crash on stage one but that's bike racing".

The Tour remains in western France for Stage 3 on Monday with its first team time trial since 2015.

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So seconds gained and lost for the GC riders starting early, but the big questions remained: would BMC's time still be the fastest at the end, and who would be in yellow on the podium?

"I'm only some 20 seconds behind Froome so it's not that much".

Among the top contenders, last year's runner-up Rigoberto Uran of Colombia is 10th, 35 seconds behind.

Vincenzo Nibali's Bahrain-Merida squad were 11th on the day, giving up 62 seconds to Team Sky, while Romain Bardet's AG2R La Mondiale team finished 12th, 71 seconds back.

"I still regret throwing away those 51 seconds on the first day, but there's a long way to go to Paris".

There was no surprises for Movistar's Quintana, who lost another chunk of time to Froome, to whom he came second on the Tour twice.

"I feel maybe even better (than last year)".

It's also great to have the yellow jersey ...

Tomorrow the Tour de France 204-kilometre sprint stage with the only mountain of the fourth category, which the participants of the race will overcome 60 kilometers from the finish.

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