Yates conceded eight seconds to the yellow jersey group of Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) that also featured the likes of Chris Froome, Richie Porte and Romain Bardet. Despite the time loss, Yates moved up the standings from 36th to 18th and remains fifth in the young rider classification.
"Like many teams, today was a day that we had identified as a potential opportunity for our faster guys if the situation eventuated. As is always the case in the first week of the Tour de France, it was a nervous and hectic day. We probably found ourselves a little far back and when the pace was set by Porte around the twists and turns of the climb, guys were getting dropped all over the place and it’s difficult to make up ground," sport director Matt White said.
"We had Esteban and Roman finish amongst the main group of GC riders but unfortunately it looks like Simon Yates has lost a few seconds there."
Cannondale-Drapac's Andrew Talansky as the only other top-ten GC contender to lose time on the run in to the Longwy citadel.
With stage 4 a day for the sprinters and Orica-Scott solely focused on the GC, it will be a day to recover for Yates and the Australian team before Wednesday's testing finale to La Planche des Belles Filles which will see a shake up of the standing.
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