Peter Sagan secures stage win as Chris Froome stays out of trouble


The team completed the course in an average speed of 54.9km per hour to claim their second Tour de France team time trial victory.

The red-and-white checkered cloths were created following Theodore Botrel's song first performed in April 1900, "Le mouchoir rouge de Cholet".

BMC were among the pre-stage favourites and demonstrated why, celebrating another victory three years after they won the last team time trial stage on the Tour. You can never tell who is going to be on a good day or not, but all in all it worked out well for us.

It was also a very satisfying day for Froome, the Kenyan-born Briton ignoring some booing at the start line and making up some of the valuable time he lost on Saturday's first stage.

"The legs feel good and I'm optimistic about what is to come hopefully", said Froome.

Boulder's Taylor Phinney, on the other hand, finished 19 in the stage, just a second behind Froome.

Vincenzo Nibali's Bahrain-Merida squad were 11th on the day, giving up 62 seconds to Team Sky, while Romain Bardet's AG2R La Mondiale team finished 12th, 71 seconds back. "I love France and the Tour, which is the most handsome race on the planet".

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"They were the second to last team and they had a great ride. You have to step up and deliver on the day and that's not an easy thing to do on a Tour de France team time trial stage".

Sky were second off the start ramp and set off to a mixed reception one week after the UCI announced it had closed its anti-doping investigation into Froome. "I think I am in good condition and I have a good team around me but there are no doubts that this is the most important test of the season for me".

Dutchman Dumoulin was more than happy with the way the third stage panned out after moving up to seventh in the early GC standings, just 11 seconds back from the new leader. "We didn't plan where or whatever but we knew the time was taken on the fourth guy over the line. It's been a great little journey over the past couple of months to come to this team and become part of a really tight team time trial unit and to really add to that is something I will be proud of for a long time", he said.

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

Fernando Gaviria could have been donning the yellow jersey had Quick-Step Floors won the stage. That would have been a nice bonus on top. "It just shows that we are here, too, and let's get it on". "Everyone is working well together and we have a strong team and Richie can be up there". "We were close but not quite quick enough". "To win the stage with a team like we have here, and especially with the passing of Andy Rihs, is special", Porte said.

"We expected some crashes in this tricky final and moved up early", said Enrico Poitschke, sports director of Sagan's Bora-Hansgrohe team.