Friday, 20 July, 2018

Van Avermaet beats Thomas to yellow jersey as Froome recovers lost time

Peter Sagan is happy to be back at the Tour after being kicked out early in 2017 Peter Sagan is happy to be back at the Tour after being kicked out early in 2017
Sidney Guerrero | 12 July, 2018, 04:16

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. "We're on track but there's still so much to go through". "But this is the biggest one in the world and you get to stand up there on the podium with your team-mates, and having a team-mate jump into the yellow jersey is another cool aspect", said Bevin, who is now the third New Zealand rider to triumph in team time trial at the Tour, following past successes from Julian Dean and Chris Jenner.

Chris Froome's bid for a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title got off to a shaky start Saturday after a dramatic crash left him trailing first stage victor Fernando Gaviria by over one minute. We'll take it day by day.

Times were taken from the fourth rider on each eight-man team to cross the line.

Overall, Froome is in 18th place, 55 seconds off the pace and still 44 behind 2017 Giro d'Italia victor Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, who with Team Sunweb only lost seven seconds to the Briton today.

"It was getting quite chaotic with the sprint teams but that's bike racing". "I am a lot happier than I was at the Dauphiné, we have a gelled unit here and a powerful one".

"The yellow jersey is one that everyone dreams of wearing and to get it on the first day is wonderful", Gaviria said. "That's the nature of the game".

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

"We were right at the front of the peloton in the top third, there wasn't much more the guys could have done".

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Team Sky, another unusual early starter, were booed by roadside spectators throughout their effort but posted nearly identical times through the first two time checks - as did BMC Racing, who also found themselves in an unfamiliar early start time.

Vincenzo Nibali's Bahrain-Merida squad were 11th on the day, giving up 62 seconds to Sky, while Romain Bardet's AG2R La Mondiale team finished 12th, 71 seconds off Sky's time.

The Tour informed Froome he wasn't welcome until the UCI announced on Monday that Froome's result did not represent an adverse finding on advice from the World Anti-Doping Agency. "If they could just go as long as they could and if they didn't feel great then just commit anyway, and that's what they did".

"You probably won't believe me but I didn't even think about it", he said of yellow.

Sky are among a clutch of favourites to win Monday's stage, where they will hit around 50km/h over the slightly rolling course but will be easily identified. We just wanted to get that stage.

Kiwi rider Patrick Bevin leads BMC Racing through the team time trial course on the Tour de France.

Mark Cavendish's hopes of a 31st career Tour stage win were also scuppered by the incident but the Dimension Data rider stayed upright. "We are masters in it and I'm happy to be part of it". In the last week, they have been drilling their team time trial as well as riding the cobbles of the Roubaix stage nine.

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