New Zealand cyclist wins stage on Tour de France

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

Froome starts pursuit of 5th Tour de France title

"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. The Slovak is now three minutes behind. I think there will be a lot more time lost throughout the GC group before we hit the mountains.

Riders of the BMC Racing Team celebrate after winning the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race in Cholet, France. "But this is the biggest one in the world and you get to stand up there on the podium with your team-mates and having a team-mate jump into the yellow jersey is another cool aspect", Bevin said.

The result saw Greg Van Avermaet take the yellow jersey, while BMC Racing leader Richie Porte, who lost 51 seconds on the opening stage, is now up to 14th on the general classification. "That's the nature of the game".

Among the overall favorites, Dumoulin was seventh (11 seconds behind), last year's runner-up Rigoberto Uran was 10th (:35), Porte was 14th (:51), Movistar teammates Alejandro Valverde and Mikel Landa were 17th (:53), Froome was 18th (:55), Adam Yates was 20th (1:00) and 2014 champion Vincenzo Nibali was 22nd (1:06).

Quick Step Floors had gone out onto the course with the opportunity of getting Fernando Gaviria back into the overall lead, and also had a chance of getting Philippe Gilbert into the yellow jersey should the Colombian be tailed off.

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The three-time defending world champion took the overall lead of the Tour on Sunday after he bettered about a dozen other sprinters to win Stage 2. Plagued by suspicions regarding his misuse of asthma-related medicine, the four-time tour victor suffered a start to this morning's Tour that will have undoubtedly pleased many of those fans who had booed Froome and Team Sky earlier this week.

"I expected the last few kilometres to be a bit easier", said Sagan, "but it was really tough - up and down, left and right, before climbing again".

" He's still for me the favourite to win the Tour de France and he's proved in the past that he can deal with whatever has been thrown at him."
"It just shows that we are here, too, and let's get it on".

Crashes and mechanicals littered the closing kilometres of the stage with the race losing two riders in Astana's Luis Leon Sanchez and Tsgabu Grmay of Trek-Segafredo.

The only individual time trial of the race comes in the penultimate stage, over a 31-kilometer route from Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle to Espelette in the Basque country.

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