Chris Froome Crashes 5 Km From Finish In Tour De France Opener

Chris Froome

Chris Froome

Team Sky were beaten into second place by BMC on the 35.5km circuit around Cholet, with Richie Porte's team posting a time of 38:46 - four seconds faster than Team Sky - to put Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet into the yellow jersey for Tuesday's stage four. 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.

"The only thing I can really understand from it was that Chris didn't even go to the adverse analytical finding, it didn't even get to that stage, he was asked to explain himself which he got given due process to do and he was cleared by the people that run the sport and doping agency and that's all we really know".

Movistar's Nairo Quintana - who has finished second twice and third once behind Froome in the past five years - lost more time as his team finished 53 seconds off the pace.

The overall leader after second stage, Peter Sagan, was dropped by his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates and fell to 80th overall and lost the yellow jersey.

Three French riders - Kevin Ledanois (Team Fortuneo-Samsic), Jerome Cousin (Direct Energie) and Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) - attacked at the start flag and quickly established an advantage of more than a minute.

Among the top contenders, last year's runner-up Rigoberto Uran of Colombia is 10th, 35 seconds behind.

"It's a ideal day, I was a bit scared because Sonny was coming back strong", said Sagan, who also wore the yellow jersey in 2016.


It is a measure of just how much success Team Sky have enjoyed at recent Tours de France that when Geraint Thomas missed out on the yellow jersey yesterday by only three seconds he barely shrugged.

"A bit disappointed not to win but it was a technical race because of the wind, changes of direction, up and down as well".

"To be honest I didn't even think about it (the yellow jersey), it was just about winning the stage".

Among Froome's main rivals, France's Romain Bardet lost 1:15 today and now trails the Briton by 20 seconds.

Froome was left 55 seconds behind in the overall standings with another week of nervy rolling stages before hitting the Alps.

Australian Richie Porte, who had also lost 51 seconds in the first stage after being delayed behind a pile-up, benefited from his BMC team's performance to move up to 14th, four seconds ahead of Froome.

Tonight's fourth stage is a flat, 195km stage in Brittany between La Baule and Sarzeau that is expected to finish in a bunch sprint.

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