BMC Racing Team claimed Stage 3 of the 2018 Tour de France on Monday as they set the fastest time in the team time trial.
The event returned for the first time since 2015, and time trial specialists BMC took full advantage as they set a time of 38 minutes, 46 seconds on the 35.5-kilometre course that started and ended in the town of Cholet in the Pays de la Loire region of France.
Team Sky finished as runners-up, four seconds behind. Here is the classification for the stage:
1. BMC Racing Team in 38:46
2. Team Sky in 38:50 (+04″)
3. Quick-Step Floors in 38:53 (+07″)
4. Mitchelton-Scott in 38:55 (+09″)
5. Team Sunweb in 38:58 (+11″)
For the full classification of the stage and the general classification, visit the Tour’s official website.
Team Sky had laid down the gauntlet with a strong effort, but having recorded an identical time over the first 13 kilometres, BMC were six seconds ahead as they passed through the second checkpoint.
Despite losing two seconds in the final section, BMC secured an impressive time ahead of Team Sky to boost Richie Porte in his battle with Vincenzo Nibali of Bahrain Merida:
Sky rider Chris Froome was nevertheless happy with his team’s performance:
The result means BMC’s Greg van Avermaet has taken the yellow jersey from Peter Sagan, whose team Bora-hansgrohe set a time of 39:36 after dropping him.
Fernando Gaviria could have been donning the yellow jersey had Quick-Step Floors won the stage.
They got off to a strong start, passing the first checkpoint just three seconds back on BMC, but disaster soon struck as they blew apart on an uphill section and Gaviria was dropped:
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.
On Tuesday, the Tour will head to Brittany, as the riders start in La Baule and end in Sarzeau after a 195-kilometre route.