Friday, 21 September, 2018


Porte on the up after BMC’s time trial win

Mark Cavendish Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan will be sprinting for a yellow jersey in stage 1 of the Tour Mark Cavendish Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan will be sprinting for a yellow jersey in stage 1 of the Tour
Noah Ferguson | 12 July, 2018, 09:40

The Bury rider, who like Froome lost time thanks to a crash on the opening stage, quickly made his way back to the pack but with his left shoulder scuffed up.

Porte's team edged out Team Sky by four seconds after they completed the 35.5km circuit around Cholet in 38min 46sec, with BMC's Belgian rider Greg Van Avermaet claiming the yellow jersey.

"I'm happy to be here", Froome noted. "We gave it everything we had and it all went pretty much to plan".

"Obviously the [Tour] didn't start too well with the crash on stage one but that's bike racing. We did well as a team but disappointed not to take the win, we were so close", he said.

"But even if you're on the course and you are taking time back, it's so technical and you have to nail every corner and every turn", he said. It would have been nice not to have thrown 51 seconds away on the first day. "I love France and the Tour, which is the most lovely race on the planet".

"It's about what I expected, we thought we'd lose a bit to Froome and we lost a bit to Froome", said the dry-witted Quintana. "You have to step up and deliver on the day and that's not an easy thing to do on a Tour de France team time trial stage". "That's the nature of the game".

After that, the gaps became more significant.

Among Froome's main rivals, France's Romain Bardet lost 1:15 on Monday and now trails the Briton by 20 seconds.

"Team EF-Drapac managed to cut their losses for Rigoberto Uran - their powerful TTT team stopping the clock in 39'21" - while Team Sunweb also ensured they lost very little over the potentially tricky parcours.

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 pressure has unquestionably risen on Froome and Team Sky in spite of anti-doping authorities ending their investigation into this salbutamol levels, but he is adamant that he is able to put the pressure to the side and focus on the task at hand.

Dutchman Dumoulin was more than happy with the way the third stage panned out after moving up to seventh in the early GC standings, just 11 seconds back from the new leader. To win with these guys is a great feeling.

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

Fernando Gaviria could have been donning the yellow jersey had Quick-Step Floors won the stage. If his legs are good after the Giro d'Italia, we already know he can be a threat. "We were close but not quite quick enough".

Froome put in an imperial performance on Monday showing the kind of power in the saddle that has led him to four previous Tour de France victories where he dominates the time trials and defends his lead in the mountains.

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