Tour de France Stg 3 TTT - BMC & Van Avermaet in yellow, Kiwi wins stage
BMC Racing Team proves TTT dominance enabling Greg Van Avermaet to move into yellow on Tour de France Stage 3, as former winner Chris Froome made up time on several key rivals now 55 seconds off the lead.
Patrick Bevin joined an exclusive group of Kiwis at the Tour de France today, being the third New Zealander to win a stage at the Tour de France, helping BMC to edge out Team Sky and Quick-Step Floors.
After two hectic days of racing, the Tour de France turned its attention to team time trialling on stage 3 today with BMC Racing Team showing its strength in this discipline to take the stage win and put Belgium's Greg Van Avermaet into the yellow jersey.
BMC Racing Team was one of the first teams to roll off the ramp in Cholet and all eight riders quickly settled into the team's trademark rhythm as they started their 35.5km team time trial.
Third-fastest at the first intermediate checkpoint after 13km, BMC Racing Team kicked it up another gear heading into the second part of the course, setting the best time at the 26.5km mark before the first five riders powered across the line in a time of 38'46"20 to move into the hot seat.
After a long wait, BMC Racing Team's impressive show of strength, speed and teamwork proved to be enough to take both the stage win and the leader's jersey with Van Avermaet moving into yellow ahead of teammate Tejay van Garderen at the end of the day.
The team's excellent ride also propelled Richie Porte up the General Classification with the Australian rider able to make up time on some of his rivals and move up into 14th overall.
"I think we were really smooth today. I think everybody did a good time trial and we were all working well together." commented tour leader Greg Van Avermaet. "We knew that Team Sky would be the team to beat and we also knew that it would be close. We worked together and that's what team time trials are about. We stayed together with eight guys for a long time and on this parcours, that was the key to winning the race."
"It was a goal to get yellow in the first week. I have worn it one time already and it was an incredible feeling so, I am pretty happy to be in this position for a second time. I will enjoy it tomorrow because for any rider it is a special feeling. I want to thank my teammates as without them, it wouldn't have happened."
"Stage 1 has been forgotten about already but it did provide us with the extra boost to go faster today." relayed Sports Director, Fabio Baldato. "Victory in the team time trial is one of the best feelings. The prize is shared between all of the team. Everybody works hard, everybody does their homework and prepares well for day's like this and that means that the win is shared by everyone. For me, that is why day's like this are special."
Stage three result
1. BMC Racing (US) 38mins 46secs
2. Team Sky (GB) +4secs
3. Quick-Step Floors (Bel) +7secs
4. Mitchelton Scott (Aus) +9secs
5. Team Sunweb (Ger) +11secs
6. EF Education First-Drapac (US) +35secs
7. Bora-Hansgrohe (Ger) +50secs
8. Astana (Kaz) +51secs
9. Katusha-Alpecin (Swi) +52secs
10. Movistar (Spa) +53secs
General classification after stage three
1. Greg van Avermaet (Bel/BMC Racing) 9hrs 8mins 55secs
2. Tejay van Garderen (US/BMC Racing) same time
3. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) +3secs
4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel/Quick-Step Floors) +5secs
5. Bob Jungels (Lux/Quick-Step Floors) +7secs
6. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Quick-Step Floors) same time
7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Team Sunweb) +11secs
8. Soren Kragh Andersen (Den/Team Sunweb) same time
9. Michael Matthews (Aus/Team Sunweb)
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education First-Drapac) +35secs