Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Tour de France: Fernando Gaviria makes it debut double

Mitchelton-Scott with overall leader Daryl IMpey at Criterium du Dauphine stage 3 team time trial Mitchelton Scott with overall leader Daryl IMpey at Criterium du Dauphine stage 3 team time trial
Sidney Guerrero | 13 July, 2018, 19:44

It's his first ever Tour de France but 23-year-old Fernando Gaviria is fast making a name for himself in his debut tournament, winning two of the four stages so far.

Besides still having to make up most of the 51 seconds he lost in a Stage 1 crash, Chris Froome faces another challenge as he seeks a record-tying fifth Tour de France title - Richie Porte's BMC team.

"It was a very hard sprint, but we knew how to pull it off", Gaviria said.

BMC edged out Team Sky for victory in the stage three team time trial at the Tour de France but Chris Froome was able to wipe out numerous losses suffered in Saturday's chaotic opener.

"Tuesday's stage might be tricky, you have to watch out for winds and the narrow roads and not get trapped behind a fall", he said, perhaps thinking of the scenario on Sunday when the sprint was marked by a multiple pile-up.

Riders were enjoying a calm sunny afternoon until a pileup near the front of the peloton with just over 5K left that sent several riders to the tarmac.

A crash in the middle of the bunch disrupted the chase further, with Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) among the worst affected, while Rigoberto Uran (EF-Drapac) was one of the GC contenders forced to chase back. Then with 5km to go a big crash midway down the peloton threw another spanner in the works.

TV and radio presenter Richard Bacon in a coma
The presenter told fans he was hospitalised seven days ago, sharing a picture of himself at the hospital on social media. The BBC also reports that the 42-year-old dad of two had to have a tracheotomy to help him breath.

Adam Yates stayed upright and his Mitchelton-Scott squad repaid the faith in him as their sole leader with a fine performance that meant he lost just 9 seconds to Porte and even less to Thomas and Froome, not to mention taking plenty of time back on raw climbers to boot. Movistar teammates Alejandro Valverde and Mikel Landa were 15th and 16th (:53), narrowly ahead of Froome.

"The peloton slowed to allow them back, which also saw the gap extend again - 2'40" with 40km to race - which in turn ensured the bonus-second sprint was neutralised with the time bonuses taken by the break.

BMC Racing kept the Franco-Belgian breakaway under control, however, and with the pace down there was little to report through much of the stage.

Sagan is the man in green Tuesday as he leads the sprint points race and is hoping to cash in with a maximum 70 to be won here, 20 at the intermediate sprint and 50 at the line.

Stage five sees the Tour continue through Brittany, a 204.5km ride from Lorient to Quimper featuring a pair of category-four climbs and a trio of category-three ascents.

The three-week Tour ends July 29 in Paris.

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