Tour de France: Chris Froome gains on rivals as jeering fades

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.

BMC edged out Team Sky for victory in the stage three team time trial at the Tour de France but Chris Froome was able to wipe out numerous losses suffered in Saturday's chaotic opener.

Froome was left 55 seconds behind in the overall standings with another week of nervy rolling stages before hitting the Alps.

"There's a photo of the team on the podium with Greg in yellow and I think it's one I will cherish for a long time".

Team Sky's Geraint Thomas missed out on the yellow jersey by just three seconds, having started the day sixth in the general classification and one second up on Van Avermaet.

"The legs feel good and I'm optimistic about what is to come hopefully", said Froome.

Quick-Step Floors were third, seven seconds behind Sky, with world champions Sunweb, featuring Tom Dumoulin, 11 seconds behind in fifth. "We're on track but there's still so much to go through".

The three-time defending world champion took the overall lead of the Tour on Sunday after he bettered about a dozen other sprinters to win Stage 2. "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". "I love France and the Tour, which is the most lovely race on the planet".

Three of the early starters were the big winners on stage three of the 2018 Tour de France, as BMC Racing won the stage - and the yellow jersey - and Richie Porte, Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) gained back time lost to their rivals on stages one and two.

"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. "[It] puts us right back in the game".

"We knew it was OK to lose Luke and Wout", Thomas said.

Thomas, who wore yellow for four days previous year, said that he was not bothered by the...

"You probably won't believe me but I didn't even think about it", he said of yellow.

Overnight leader Colombia's Gaviria, who is just 23, said he was happy to be in the white best young riders jersey, although he too will be in pursuit of the green sprint points tunic too.

For Porte, the stage win took on special significance as it marked a year since he crashed out of last year's Tour on the decent into Chambery on the ninth stage. "We are masters in it and I'm happy to be part of it".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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