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BMC time-trial win puts Van Avermaet in yellow

BMC time-trial win puts Van Avermaet in yellow

Demare launched the sprint 250 metres from the line and Sagan jumped ahead of him easily before holding off Colbrelli in the final metres.

"It was really a hard sprint, " Sagan said. "It was a mess".

Already this year he has finished second in the time trial at the Tour of California and Tour of Basque Country and fifth at the Criterium du Dauphine.

With the Tour de France underway, Froome believes he is in good condition to face the challenge that awaits.

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.

The Slovak led the pack in the intermediate sprint behind solo escapee French veteran Sylvain Chavanel, and is now also top of the green jersey standings. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) +00:00 3.

"You just feel so much more aware of the dangers when you're a parent", White said this week.

"Obviously the (Tour) didn't start too well with the crash on stage one but that's bike racing".

However, cycling's governing body and WADA ruled it "does not constitute an AAF (adverse analytical finding)", meaning the 33-year-old will keep his Vuelta title plus his maglia rose from the Giro d'Italia in June.

Fans came out in large numbers for the 105th edition of cycling's biggest race, standing along almost every stretch of the route and waving the red and white flags of the Vendee region.

Mark Cavendish, victor of a record 30 Tour de France stages, and Sagan, who was gunning for a sixth green jersey, both left the Tour after a notorious incident where the Slovak was thrown out of the race after being ruled guilty of the Briton's Tour ending date with the tarmac.

Few could have predicted the wild final run into Fontenay on Saturday which left four-time champion Froome, who fell into a ditch, and other favorites Richie Porte and Adam Yates trailing stage victor Fernando Gaviria in the overall standings by 1 min and 1 sec.

The pressure has unquestionably risen on Froome and Team Sky in spite of anti-doping authorities ending their investigation into this salbutamol levels, but he is adamant that he is able to put the pressure to the side and focus on the task at hand.

Defending champion Chris Froome made up for some lost time as his Team Sky finished second. The 22.1-mile loop starts and finishes in Cholet.

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

"We have the yellow jersey, we won a stage with the team. and Richie can finish it off with a nice podium spot in Paris", Van Avermaet said.

The latter's hopes of reclaiming the maillot jaune took an early hit, however, as he lost contact with the back of the Quick-Step train and the team split apart early in the stage.

Sagan, however, said there was no revenge factor in mind, and that just wearing yellow was reason enough to celebrate.

"I don't think it is a bad thing to have the yellow jersey for a team looking for a sponsor", said Porte, who crashed out of last year's Tour and lost time in Stage 1 of this edition. He was absorbed by the peloton with eight miles left. Tsgabu Grmay of Ethiopia also retired.

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