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Tour de France 2018: Stage 3

Good afternoon and welcome to team time trial day. We're just under half an hour until the first team of the day rolls down the start ramp. 

Hear here for a full list of the start times and you can get our full preview of the team test here. This 35km test is nothing to sniff at and it could see a few changes in the overall standings. It's also an opportunity for the likes of Chris Froome and Richie Porte to claw back some of the time that they lost in the first two days. This is a discipline that both their teams can do very well at. 

Due to their misfortune over the weekend, Team Sky and BMC Racing are down at the bottom of the team classification, as are other stage victory contenders Mitchelton-Scott. the Australian outfit are first off in 20 minutes. 

 

Peter Sagan took the second yellow jersey of his career after his stage win yesterday but he's unlikely to keep that by the end of today. Note that, of the potential GC contenders, Geraint Thomas is up there in the top 10 after nicking a bonus second in an intermediate sprint. Mikel Landa, Tom Dumoulin, Romain Bardet and Vincenzo Nibali are all 16 seconds back while Richie Porte, Chris Froome and Adam Yates are 1:07 back on Sagan. 

 

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 8:29:53
2 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:06
3 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:10
4 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie 0:00:13
5 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:14
6 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:15
7 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
8 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:16
9 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
10 Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert

 

Looking back to yesterday's action, just before today's begins, and the stage was marked by another big crash. This one came in the final three kilometres and took out many of the main sprint contenders. Yellow jersey Fernando Gaviria was among the fallers and his teammate Philippe Gilbert expressed his displeasure at the GC riders getting too involved in the mix during the sprint. Read his full comments here.

 

Not long now until Mitchelton-Scott set off. SBS reporter Sophie Smith says that the team DSs have checked out the course three times this morning, so they're keen to get plenty out of this. 

 

Here is Adam Yates rolling towards the start a few moments ago. 

 

Team Sky have also arrived at the start area. They'll be going off five minutes after Mitchelton-Scott. It is another glorious sunny day out there for the riders and not a rain drop in sight as Mitchelton-Scott start off this team time trial. 

 

If you haven't seen yet, after Peter Sagan's win yesterday, we've put our first feature film HOLY WEEK on sale. Check it out here.

 

There are two time checks in today's time trial. The first comes at 13k and the second at 26.5k.

 

Team Sky have set off. Here they were waiting to get their start a few moments ago. There were boos again for the team, but there are people clapping too. 

 

Team Sky are now tackling the first little ramp along this lumpy course. It's a little disrupting for the rhythm and they will have a few more of these on the road to the finish line. 

 

Movistar are off now. Nairo Quintana lost the most time out of the big GC contenders after his mechanical on day 1. He starts the day a massive 1:31 behind the yellow jersey. 

 

An interesting approach to a roundabout for Team Sky. Most of them take the right side but one of the riders takes the long way round and has to sprint to get back into the train.

 

Mitchelton-Scott are approaching the first of the time checks. What benchmark will they set? They're grappling with a small crosswind at present but they're looking relatively slick.

 

Amidst all of the racing action yesterday, Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford spoke out about UCI president David Lappartient. Former UCI incumbents Pat McQuaid and Brian Cookson spoke to Cyclingnews, saying that a the two needed to resolve their issues in private. Read the full story here.

 

Mitchelton-Scott's time at the first check is a 14:13. Let's see what Team Sky can do as the next team through the check. 

 

No stragglers just yet with both Sky and Mitchelton-Scott keeping a hold of the full compliment of eight for now. Another little rise to contend with for the Australian team. 

 

Huge crowds out here today. I've not seen a patch of bare terrain just yet. 

 

BMC Racing are now out on the road. They'll be looking to take back some time for Richie Porte today. They could also take the stage win.

 

Team Sky is just one second slower than Mitchelton-Scott at the intermediate. 

 

Some last minute bike checks for the FDJ team. They started before BMC racing.

 

Movistar give away two seconds at the first check. It's tight at the top for these first teams.

 

UAE Team Emirates are up next. Fortunately for them, their GC leader Dan Martin has escaped the incidents so far. 

 

Meanwhile, Team Sky has lost Luke Rowe and Wout Poels from their number. They have just six riders left of the four they need to finish with. 

 

FDJ are 41 seconds back at the first check as Mitchelton-Scott stop the clock with a time of 29:06 at the second check. 

 

And Team Sky have made up time on Mitchelton-Scott in the second part of this course. They're now four seconds up at the 26.5km check. The new benchmark there is 29:03. 

 

AG2R La Mondiale rolls down the start ramp. They put in a pretty solid team time trial at the Criterium du Dauphine, but what can they do today?

 

For some audio as you read us, why not listen to the latest Cyclingnews Podcast? We'll have more of these as the race progresses. 

 

BMC Racing has posted the same time as Team Sky at the first check. Can they do what Sky did and make up time in the second part of the course?

 

Mitchelton-Scott finish their effort and stop the clock at 38:55.

 

Movistar comes through the second check with Quintana at the front of the group. They're 26 seconds down on Team Sky and have just five riders left. 

 

Team Sky are the second line-up to cross the finish line. They've kept their remaining six riders as they charge to the line. Thomas leads them over the line to help them beat Mitchelton-Scott by five seconds. He could be in yellow if Team Sky can hold onto this lead. 

 

We're almost halfway through today's stage with Direct Energie setting off. Lotto Soudal and then LottoNL-Jumbo will be next to go. 

 

FDJ are through the second check and they've shelled more time and are now 1:18 back. Meanwhile, at the first intermediate check UAE Team Emirates are 31 seconds off the pace at the first check. EF Education First are 15 seconds down. 

 

Movistar complete their run with just five riders. They're 49 seconds down on Team Sky and that is a massive loss. That means that Froome will be on almost the same time as Landa and Valverde while Quitnana is now even further back. 

 

At the second check, BMC Racing is looking quite comfortable with Tejay van Garderen leading the way. They're five seconds up on Team Sky and they still have seven riders. 

 

EF Education First are closing on the second check. They've been going well, even with one of their riders quite badly injured. Lawson Craddock crashed in the neutral zone of stage one and broke his scapula.

 

AG2R La Mondiale also have an injured rider with Tony Gallopin. He crashed during the French national championships and he had to go through a medical before the Tour started to keep his place in the team. 

 

EF Education first go through the second intermediate and they're 23 seconds back. That is a very solid time. 

 

FDJ finishes with a time of 40:28. They'll be happy to have that over and done with. 

 

World team time trial champions Sunweb are up at the start area and they're wearing ice jackets to keep them cool. What can they do today?

BMC Racing shed a rider as they hit the final kilometre. They still ave five riders as they cross the line and the former team time trial world champions are the new quickest team as they beat Team Sky by four seconds. 

 

With five teams finished, this is how the standings look for now. 

 

1 BMC Racing 00:38:46
2 Team Sky 00:38:50
3 Mitchelton-Scott 00:38:55
4 Movistar 00:39:40
5 Groupama-FDJ 00:40:28
 

 

At the second check, UAE Team Emirates have given away 1:05. That is not good for Dan Martin and his overall ambitions. 

 

Team Sunweb have set off and we've got just eight more teams to start. They and Quick-Step Floors are the most likely remaining teams that have the capability to beat BMC Racing's time. 

 

At the line, EF Education First drop just 35 seconds to BMC Racing. That is a fine effort for them and keeps Rigoberto Uran well up there. 

 

Silvan Dillier is dropped from the AG2R La Mondiale. They've given away 58 seconds at the intermediate check. 

 

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UAE cross the line with five riders and they've given away 1:38 on BMC Racing. That is a very disappointing time, despite a huge effort from Alexander Kristoff in the final kilometre. 

 

Team LottoNL-Jumbo have lost 43 seconds at the intermediate. That's a lot of time lost for Steven Kruijswijk and Primoz Roglic. 

 

AG2R La Mondiale pass a couple of riders from the UAE Team. They're getting a bit ragged, though, with just five riders left. Romain Bardet is hanging on the back as they hit the final kilometre. 

 

They lose another rider just before the final 300 metres. They stop the clock at 40:01 and lose 1:15. That's not great from them today. 

 

That's eight teams finished now. Here are the standings.

 

1 BMC Racing Team 0:38:46
2 Team Sky 0:38:50
3 Mitchelton-Scott 0:38:55
4 EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:39:21
5 Movistar Team 0:39:40
6 AG2R La Mondiale 0:40:01
7 UAE Team Emirates 0:40:25
8 Groupama-FDJ 0:40:28

 

Team Sunweb pass through the first intermediate check 15 seconds slower than BMC Racing with a time of 14:28. BMC said that they went out slower to have the energy for the final section, can Sunweb make up time in the next section too?

 

Bahrain-Merida are out on course and taking on that early sharp rise. Vincenzo Nibali has been working on his time trialling and he will want to lose as little time as possible here. 

 

Five teams left to start with Trek-Segafredo next off the ramp. They're down on rider already after Tsgabu Grmay crashed out over the weekend. 

 

Geraint Thomas was in with a shout of yellow if Sky had won today. This is what he said after finishing his effort earlier.

 

"Altogether we rode well, especially with - there was a lot going on there, even though there weren’t many corners, there was changes in direction with the wind, climbs and descents and everything. I think we rode decent," said Thomas.

 

"There are always changes in direction, and it was a bit gusty. Obviously it’s not just one gradient, either. You’re having to really change your turns depending on where you are on the course. It certainly favours the teams that can ride well technically, and that are quite even as well.

 

It was decent for us, but it’s a bit frustrating because I felt like I could have had a bit more in the tank by the end. Every TTT I’ve done, we’ve always been there or thereabouts. Obviously there have been a few in the Grand Tours where we’ve been a bit less than you’d expect, but in the Tour we’ve always been top three."

 

Astana set off. They are also a rider down after Luis Leon Sanchez suffered a horrible crash that left him with a broken elbow and four broken ribs. 

 

My colleague Laura has been pounding the calculator and pulled together this look at the GC. This just includes the teams that have finished but you can see Van Avermaet will have yellow as things stand while Quintana is now 2:09 back. 

 

Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 9:08:55
Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:00
Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:03
Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:00:35
Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:51
Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:54
Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:54
Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:55
Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:00
Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:15
Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 0:01:19
Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:39
Warren Barguil (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic 0:01:47
Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:09

 

Team Sunweb has made up two seconds between the two checks but they are still 13 seconds behind BMC Racing at the moment. 

 

LottoNL-Jumbo have lost 1:15 on the line and that is a big blow for their GC challenge. 

 

The yellow jersey of Peter Sagan is ready and waiting for his effort. He's unlikely to have this jersey at the end of the day. 

At the first check, Bahrain-Merida were just 21 seconds back. They're well on their way to the second intermediate. A solid effort from Nibali's team. 

 

Cofidis phoning their team time trial in today and they finish 3:23 back on BMC Racing. They were doing their best to save energy today. 

 

Team Sunweb make up a little bit more time again but it's not quite enough. They give away 11 seconds in the end, which puts them into fourth place. That's very good for Tom Dumoulin, who will be hoping to make up plenty of time in the individual test in the final week. 

 

Meanwhile, Bora-Hansgrohe have set off. That's all the teams out on course or finished their run. 

 

Tony Martin leads Katusha-Alpecin through the second intermediate check. They're still 44 seconds down, even with the former time trial world champion. They've got just four men left. They're going to have to lean on Martin a lot here. 

 

Bahrain-Merida through the second check now. They've given away 39 seconds as Sonny Colbrelli goes pop. Nibali was leading the team up the short ascent to the time check. 

 

Richie Porte spoke after the stage, saying that having the yellow jersey could help the team find a new sponsor. Porte, however, has signed a two-year deal with Trek-Segafredo for next season

 

"It's not a bad thing for a team that's looking for a sponsor to have the yellow jersey. It doesn't guarantee a spot in front of the peloton either. We're taking some time back on some of the other GC guys. It's still a long way to go, six more hectic days and the the mountains."

 

Bahrain-Merida have just four riders now, Nibali, Pozzovivo and the Izagirre brothers. This is not going well. 

 

Katusha-Alpecin finish with Tony Martin pulling as hard as he can. They've lost 52 seconds on the line. 

 

Quick-Step Floors have gone out fast and they're just three seconds off the quickest time set by Mitchelton-Scott at the first check. 

 

Any chance of yellow for Gaviria appears to have gone out the window as Gaviria gets dropped. The team has exploded with the group scattered into four groups. 

 

Bahrain-Merida shed time after that second check and they've lost 1:05. They were doing so well but it all went to pot in that last section. 

 

After that brief moment of panic for Quick-Step Floors, they've regrouped and have six riders together. Gaviria and Declercq have been dropped. GPS still says that they're in with a shout of the victory. 

 

This is the top 10 as it stands with five teams still to finish. 

 

1 BMC Racing Team 0:38:46
2 Team Sky 0:38:50
3 Mitchelton-Scott 0:38:55
4 Team Sunweb 0:38:58
5 EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:39:21
6 Katusha-Alpecin 0:39:39
7 Movistar Team 0:39:40
8 Bahrain-Merida 0:39:52
9 AG2R La Mondiale 0:40:01
10 Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:40:02

 

On the same short rise that Quick-Step had their issues, Peter Sagan is struggling. Bora-Hansgrohe sat up a little bit to let the yellow jersey catch back up. 

 

Trek-Segafredo sit just out side of the top 10 with their time after giving away 1:16. Further back up the course, Quick-Step Floors shed Richeze to leave them with five. They can only afford to lose one more rider. 

 

BMC Racing are watching nervously in the hot seat. Team manager Jim Ochowicz is there and they can see Julian Alaphilippe make a mistake and he has to chase back on. GPS says the gap is around four to five seconds in BMC's favour. It's going to be very close. 

 

Quick-Step Floors hit the second intermediate and Lampaert is bouncing around a little bit, he's in pain. Terpstra is looking solid at the front as they stop the clock six seconds down on BMC Racing. 

 

Taylor Phinney spoke to NBC Sports after EF Education First's run. His teammate Lawson Craddock is suffering with a broken scapula but held on until the final three kilometres of the time trial. 

 

"He was struggling a lot with the corners when we did the recon because he couldn’t get out of the saddle. To do a TTT at that speed and be able to hang on and push through, he’s shown us all a lot of character. He had a rough year last year, and a lot of teams wrote him off, and he’s worked really hard to come back especially to this race.

 

"This sport tests you in really difficult ways, and to crash like that on the first stage and then push through shows that he really wants it. It gives us a lot of motivation to push through any pain we might be having."

 

Astana finishes 51 seconds back on BMC Racing. Not great news for Jakob Fuglsang. 

 

Burghardt goes bang for Bora-Hansgrohe at the second check as does Peter Sagan. He'll be waving goodbye to the yellow jersey. 

 

Just a few teams to finish now and here's an updated look at where the GC riders rank. 

 

Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 9:08:55
Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:00
Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:03
Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:00:35
Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:51
Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana 0:00:52
Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:54
Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:54
Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:55
Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:00
Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:06
Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:15
Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 0:01:19
Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:39
Warren Barguil (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic 0:01:47
Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:09
 

 

Wanty-Groupe Gobert finish and we have just Quick-Step and Bora-Hansgrohe to come. Quick-Step Floors now have just four riders left. 

 

Tense moments for BMC Racing as they watch QuickS-Step come home. Who will be in yellow?

 

A big drive from Quick-Step Floors. They're leaving everything on the road. They cross the line just six seconds down and BMC Racing are celebrating. 

 

Greg Van Avermaet led the team over the line and that means that he's in yellow. He's worn yellow before after claiming a stage victory at the 2016 Tour de France. 

 

Bora-Hansgrohe still have to finish, but they're unlikely to take the stage win today. This is what the top 10 looks like with just under three kilometres to go for Bora. 

 

1 BMC Racing Team 0:38:46
2 Team Sky 0:38:50
3 Quick-Step Floors 0:38:53
4 Mitchelton-Scott 0:38:55
5 Team Sunweb 0:38:58
6 EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:39:21
7 Astana Pro Team 0:39:38
8 Katusha-Alpecin 0:39:39
9 Movistar Team 0:39:40
10 Bahrain-Merida 0:39:52

 

Bora-Hansgrohe are into the final kilometre now. BMC have officially won the stage now but how much time will Bora lose?

 

Maciej Bodnar takes the final turn and leads them over the line. They're seventh at 50 seconds back on BMC Racing. 

 

With all of the teams in, here is a full rundown of the finishing times. 

 

1 BMC Racing Team 0:38:46
2 Team Sky 0:38:50
3 Quick-Step Floors 0:38:53
4 Mitchelton-Scott 0:38:55
5 Team Sunweb 0:38:58
6 EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:39:21
7 Bora-Hansgrohe 0:39:36
8 Astana Pro Team 0:39:38
9 Katusha-Alpecin 0:39:39
10 Movistar Team 0:39:40
11 Bahrain-Merida 0:39:52
12 AG2R La Mondiale 0:40:01
13 Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:40:02
14 Trek-Segafredo 0:40:02
15 UAE Team Emirates 0:40:25
16 Groupama-FDJ 0:40:28
17 Fortuneo-Samsic 0:40:33
18 Direct Energie 0:40:38
19 Lotto Soudal 0:40:38
20 Dimension Data 0:40:39
21 Wanty-Groupe Gobert 0:41:10
22 Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:42:09

 

Former rider Marco Pinotti has been the brains behind BMC Racing's time trial machine. He had this to say after the stage. 

 

"In the final part we lost a bit of time on the crossroads. Maybe they were playing it too safe, knowing they were ahead. We've won every TTT with Greg."

 

"In case of a mechanical, we would only have waited for Richie. You lose twenty seconds if you wait. So, if you wait for Greg then you lose the stage and yellow."

 

This is what today's stage has done to the overall classification. BMC Racing have Van Vaermaet and Van Garderen up there while Thomas sits in third place for Team Sky. Tom Dumoulin has moved himself into seventh overall after a strong ride from Team Sunweb. 

 

1 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 9:08:55
2 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
3 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:03
4 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:05
5 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:07
6 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:07
7 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:11
8 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 0:00:11
9 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:00:11
10 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:34

 

Greg Van Avermaet had this to say on claiming his second stint in the yellow jersey. 

 

"A team time trial is always something special. The whole team does the effort for one goal in winning the stage and I think that our team are masters in it. I’m really happy to be a part of it.

 

"It’s a big goal to get yellow in the first week. I wore it once before and was an incredible feeling to wear it. I’ve got it for a second time and I’m going to enjoy it fully tomorrow. For a rider, it’s something special. I want to thank my teammates because without them it wouldn’t have happened."
 

 

Chris Froome told Eurosport that it was nice to get the legs spinning properly after a couple of nervy stages. 

 

"I felt good, the legs feel good. Seeing as I haven’t raced since the Giro, it was nice to open up a bit. The last couple of days were a little nervy and not necessarily physical, but more mental. Today was the first day that we could open up properly. Today I felt good and the rest of the guys did a really good job. We can be happy with that.

 


"We’ve got a great team here and today confirmed that. It wasn’t good enough for the win but just four seconds off [BMC Racing], I think we can be pretty happy."

 

You can find photos, results and a report from today's stage right here

 

Peter Sagan may have lost yellow today but he's still got control of the green jersey competition. Tomorrow will be the first time that he's worn it this year, despite having the chance to during yesterday's stage. He was second in the standings to Gavira, who was wearing yellow, but decided to wear the rainbow stripes and Marcel Kittel wore green instead. 

 

Greg Van Avermaet signs a few yellow jerseys after stepping onto the podium.

 

You can find a selection of reactions from riders, including Froome, Van Avermaet and Porte, in our finish line quotes here.

 

Peter Sagan in a familiar jersey. Can he keep it all the way until Paris?

 

A reminder of how the top of the points competition looks at the moment after just three stages. 

 

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 104 pts
2 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors 78
3 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 53
4 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 41
5 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 35
6 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 30
7 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin 28
8 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie 20
9 Jerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie 20
10 Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert 19

 

That is it from live coverage of stage 3 of the Tour de France. Be sure to stick around for all the reaction from today's stage and we'll have more live coverage tomorrow. Bye for now!

 

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