LottoNL-Jumbo – led at this year's Tour de France by Steven Kruijswijk and Primoz Roglic – were left to try to look on the bright side after what was a disappointing stage 3 team time trial on Monday.
Like a number of other teams, the Dutch team opted to start the stage conservatively with the goal of ramping up their speed once they had found their rhythm.
And while the tactic worked for the likes of Tom Dumoulin's Sunweb team, who finished fifth on the stage, just 11 seconds off BMC's winning time, LottoNL-Jumbo lost a huge 1:15 to BMC, which leaves Kruijswijk and Roglic in 26th and 27th place overall, respectively, 1:15 down on race leader Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), and 20 seconds down on defending champion Chris Froome (Sky) and 24 seconds behind Van Avermaet's teammate and one of the race favourites Richie Porte.
That may not sound like much, but it does mean that the almost a minute's advantage that the LottoNL-Jumbo leaders both held over some of the race's principal contenders had been washed away by a sub-par ride against the clock.
"We started cautiously to not tear the team apart immediately," explained Kruijswijk on the team's website. "We then accelerated in the second part. Unfortunately, we didn't make up for the time we lost in the first part. All in all, I think we've made the most of it. I felt very good myself. I was able to ride a steady pace and I could take my turns. The shape is good and I hope to get through this week unharmed."
The team's 'road captain', Robert Gesink – a veteran of seven Tours de France, who finished fifth overall in 2010 – was equally philosophical.
"We've gave it everything we had. We started cautiously to keep the team together," he reiterated, "and during the second half of the stage we were very strong.
"It's now important to take the positives from this and look ahead to the coming days."
Upcoming flash-points for the peloton to negotiate include the finish at Mûr-de-Bretagne on stage 6 and the cobbled stage to Roubaix on stage 9, although if the opening couple of stages of this year's Tour are anything to go by, with the crashes and misfortunes that befell some of the big-name contenders, stages 4, 5, 7 and 8 could yet prove to be just as important.
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