Tejay van Garderen misses Tour de France yellow jersey on tiebreak

This July 4 crash resulted in both Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan exiting the Tour de France

Porte, who lost 51 seconds in the opening stage after being delayed behind a pile-up, helped his team edge out Team Sky by four seconds after they completed the 35.5 kilometre circuit around Cholet in 38 minutes 46 seconds.

BMC Racing won the stage three team time trial at the 2018 Tour de France as Greg van Avermaet claimed the yellow jersey and Richie Porte gained back time on most of his GC rivals.

"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're on track but there's still so much to go through". "I could see it was going to be a good year", said Sagan, who was thrown off the Tour last year after being judged culpable of a fall that ended fellow sprinter Mark Cavendish's Tour.

BMC Racing were the fifth team to start the stage and they laid down the marker early, edging other leading contenders Team Sky (38:50) and Mitchelton-Scott (38:55), to land themselves in the hot seat.

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.

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. "That's the nature of the game".

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However, the day belonged to a 23-year-old from La Ceja, Gaviria adding Tour stage victor to the Points Classification he won at the 2017 Giro d'Italia. Obviously this is an incredibly important race, but it's you guys who put the pressure on us!

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.

Froome has been cleared of any wrongdoing after testing positive for excessive levels of the anti-asthma drug Salbutamol, but the locals have been jeering and whistling the four-times champion since the teams' presentation on Thursday.

Yates and Froome sit in 81st and 84th places respectively, 67 seconds off yellow but more concerned about the 51 second gap to the likes of Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Mikel Landa (Movistar). Martin and his team-mates lost 2-28 minutes to Team Sky and slightly less to the other top teams and riders.

The Colombian added: "I don't know about keeping the yellow jersey because of the mountains, but I plan to fight for the green jersey (sprint points) all the way to Paris". We just wanted to get that stage. "Close but not quite quick enough". He was also part of the team that won the team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico.

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