The BMC team won Monday the 3rd stage of the Tour de France, a team time trial in Cholet, and propelled the Olympic champion, the Belgian Greg Van Avermaet in the yellow jersey.
BMC, whose leader is Australia’s Richie Porte, beat Chris Froome’s Sky team by 4 seconds after 35.5 kilometers. Quick-Step Belgian Philippe Gilbert and Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe took third place in 7 seconds.
The first five teams (Mitchelton 4th, Sunweb 5th) are in a range of a dozen seconds at the end of this exercise that had not been contested in the Tour since 2015. BMC was then imposed before Sky for 1 second. Van Avermaet, already present in the American group, has since won the Olympic title on the road in Rio. He also wore the yellow jersey of the Tour 2016 and won several classics, including Paris-Roubaix.
For the general classification, Froome lost time, a trifle of 4 seconds, only on Porte. On the other hand, he has won over all the others but in varying proportions.
Britain’s Adam Yates (5 seconds behind Froome) and Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands (8 seconds), as well as Colombian Rigoberto Uran (31 seconds), made the best move. The Colombian Nairo Quintana and the Spaniard Mikel Landa dropped 50 seconds, the Italian Vincenzo Nibali 1 min 02 sec, the Frenchman Romain Bardet 1 min 11 sec.
“It’s true to what was expected,” commented Bardet, whose two teammates (Dillier, Gallopin) were diminished by falls. “I am relieved . ” “We can be satisfied,” reacted Froome, who was very comfortable in the exercise. But the quadruple winner of the Tour had to once again listen to jeers and whistles along his route.
Tuesday, the sprinters have a new opportunity in the 4th stage, 195 kilometers long between La Baule (Loire-Atlantique) and Sarzeau (Morbihan). With a very long straight line of 4 kilometers to finish.