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Team Sky, Froome fall short in trial

11 July 2018

Richie Porte had plenty of reason to be happy after clawing back time as his BMC Racing outfit claimed victory in the team trial on the Tour de France.

BMC Racing finished the 35-kilometer stage three in 38 minutes and 46 seconds.

What had once been viewed as an opportunity to make time had become a chance to gain it back after Froome lost 51 seconds to his main rivals on Saturday.

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

"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.

Team time trials test the both the strength and emotional harmony of a team, with the rules structured to prevent the strongest riders making a solo charge and forcing each squad to make hard decisions over whether to leave team-mates behind, and there were indications of splits and frustrations in several groups.

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.

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"We expected some crashes in this tricky final and moved up early", said Enrico Poitschke, sports director of Sagan's Bora-Hansgrohe team. It would have been nice not to have lost it in the first place.

"There was way too much wind for me", said the slightly-built Porte.

"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.

BMC Racing were four seconds quicker than their nearest rivals, Team Sky, in the stage three team time trial.

Among the overall favourites, Dumoulin was seventh (11 seconds behind), last year's runner-up Rigoberto Uran was 10th (:35), Porte was 14th (:51), Movistar teammates Alejandro Valverde and Mikel Landa were 17th (:53), Froome was 18th (:55), Adam Yates was 20th (1:00) and 2014 champion Vincenzo Nibali was 22nd (1:06). "It's a long way to go, we still have six more hectic days and then we have also got the Alps and the Pyrenees".

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

Tomorrow the Tour de France 204-kilometre sprint stage with the only mountain of the fourth category, which the participants of the race will overcome 60 kilometers from the finish.

Team Sky, Froome fall short in trial