Tour de France 2018: Greg Van Avermaet in yellow after BMC team time-trial win

By Peter Thompson 10 July 2018 2
Tour de France 2018: Greg Van Avermaet in yellow after BMC team time-trial win

Greg Van Avermaet is the new Tour de France leader after BMC Racing won the stage three team time trial Monday.

BMC navigated the 35.5-kilometer route around Cholet in 38 minutes, 46 seconds to ensure Olympic champion Van Avermaet donned the yellow jersey.

Team Sky finished four seconds off the pace in second, just about edging out Quick-Step Floors, as defending champion Chris Froome made up 12 seconds in the general classification.

Mitchelton-Scott was nine seconds adrift of BMC, while world team time-trial champion Team Sunweb was another two seconds slower in fifth. 

BMC was among the pre-stage favorites and demonstrated why, celebrating another victory three years after it won the last team time-trial stage on the Tour.

Richie Porte's team was six seconds quicker than Team Sky at the second split and continued to press on, putting Van Avermaet in yellow for the second time in his career.

It proved to be an excellent day for Tom Dumoulin, who became the first of the leading GC contenders to move into the top 10.

Peter Sagan, the leader following Stage 2, was dropped by his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates, but it is stage victories and the points classification jersey that are in his sights.

Dumoulin 'super relaxed,' costly for Quintana 

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.

He told ITV4: "We did an awesome job, the boys were amazing and last year at the team time trial at the Worlds no one suited up as the strongest and there was not much difference between everyone again today and that's exactly what you want.

"So far, I'm super relaxed and the team are as well. There is lots to come but we're happy with how it went today and the first two days."

Defending champion Froome advanced to 18th to sit 55 seconds back, but Movistar's Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde lost big chunks of time. 

Dan Martin was another billed as a pre-Tour contender for the title and he will also need to make substantial gains in the mountains.

Stage 3 results

1. BMC Racing
2. Team Sky (+00:04)
3. Quick-Step Floors (+00:07)
4. Mitchelton-Scott (+00:09)
5. Team Sunweb (+00:11)

Classification standing

General Classification

1. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) 09:08:55
2. Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing)
3. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +00:03


1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 104
2. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) 78
3. Alexander Kristoff (Team Emirates) 53

Up next ... 

The sprinters will be expected to come to the fore at the end of a flat 195km route from La Baule to Sarzeau.

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Peter Thompson