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BMC take team time trial, Froome back in contention

BMC take team time trial, Froome back in contention

The result sent BMC's Belgian rider Greg van Avermaet into the overall race lead and the yellow jersey.

He will have an opportunity to make up for it in Monday's team time trial in Cholet, although he was expected to gain ground on his rivals in the collective effort against the clock, not just cancel out lost time.

The Solvakian's Bora Hansgrohe team finished in seventh spot, 50 seconds down on the stage winners, but he will wear the green jersey on stage four.

Despite the setback, Quick-Step were able to regroup and only lost a further three seconds on BMC heading through the second checkpoint and finished a total of seven behind them in third place.

"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.

"It's been a great little journey over the past couple of months to come to this team and become part of a really tight team time trial unit and to really add to that is something I will be proud of for a long time", he said.

Van Avermaet earned the yellow jersey by leading BMC over the line, just ahead of American teammate Tejay van Garderen, who moved up to second overall with the same time as Van Avermaet.

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

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Movistar could only manage 10th place on the day, 50 seconds off Sky's pace, which meant Froome is nearly back on level terms with Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde while Nairo Quintana drops even further back after his opening day woes.

"In the meantime, Team Sunweb kept Tom Dumoulin at the business end of the overall standings with a ride of 38'58", conceding just 11 seconds to BMC.

"There will be a lot more time lost throughout the GC group before we hit the mountains".

"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.

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

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.

Tuesday's fourth stage takes the riders from La Baule to Sarzeau over a largely flat 195km course.

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