Chris Froome loses ground in chaotic crash at Tour de France

Peter Sagan is stoked to ride disc brakes at the 2018 Tour de France

The last team out on the course was the one with the rider in the overall lead, Bora Hansgrohe, and as they approached the second time check it was clear that Peter Sagan would be surrendering the yellow jersey, the road world champion blowing up moments later, putting it beyond doubt that the lead would change hands. "To win the stage with a team like we have here, and especially with the passing of Andy Rihs, is special", Porte said.

He told ITV4: "We did an awesome job, the boys were incredible and past year at the team time trial at the Worlds no one suited up as the strongest and there was not much difference between everyone again today and that's exactly what you want".

BMC Racing team in the third stage of the Tour de France. We'll take it day by day.

German Marcel Kittel, who has 14 Tour stage wins under his belt, suffered a puncture just under eight kilometres from the line and could not make it back to the front of the bunch in time.

Froome, fellow Briton Adam Yates and Australian Richie Porte, all pre-Tour favourites, all lost valuable seconds having been caught in a series of falls and flat tyres over the final 10km of the 201km opening stage.

"It's amusing because at the end of the day it's just another bike race".

The race lacks the kind of long, flat individual time trial where four-time victor Froome often pulverises his opponents, programming instead a medium size time-trial in the mountains where a string of climbers who would usually lose time to Froome may actually beat him. It would have been nice not to have thrown 51 seconds away on the first day. "That's the nature of the game". They were only seven seconds back and on a similar trajectory to us so you do have to wait.

By finishing second in the 35.5km team time-trial around Cholet, Team Sky did that with typical efficiency. Rigoberto Uran's EF Education First-Drapac team gave up 35 seconds in fifth, Mikel Landa and Nairo Quintana's Movistar 54 seconds in 10th, and Vincenzo Nibali's Bahrain-Merida team 66 seconds in 11th.

The Colombian added: "I don't know about keeping the yellow jersey because of the mountains, but I plan to fight for the green jersey (sprint points) all the way to Paris".

Team Sky finished as runners-up, four seconds behind.

Huge crowds are expected as the race sets off from France's Atlantic coast and early challenges include an agenda setting 35km team time trial on day three, while a run to the pretty seaside town of Quimper on day five features 10 hills.

Kiwi rider Patrick Bevin leads BMC Racing through the team time trial course on the Tour de France. "It just shows that we are here, too, and let's get it on".

His Etixx Quick-Step team-mates provided a flawless lead-out train and, despite the presence of sprinting royalty, Gaviria pulled away to become the first debutant to win the opening stage of the Tour in 14 years. He was also part of the team that won the team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico.

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