Saturday, 21 July, 2018

BMC Racing takes team time trial

Richie Porte ahead of the 2018 Tour de France Richie Porte ahead of the 2018 Tour de France
Cassandra Castillo | 11 July, 2018, 01:33

Patrick Bevin is a stage victor at the Tour de France.

The team time-trial might not be the opening week Tour staple it once was, but after the bruising high-octane action of the opening weekend, it represented a major chance for the GC contenders to make some major time gains - or claw back lost time - over their rivals.

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

Peter Sagan, who had won stage two and the right to wear the yellow jersey during stage three, was one of those who struggled as he asked his Bora-Hansgrohe team to relax the pace before eventually letting them go on ahead.

"This won't be forgotten regardless of whatever happens between now and Paris".

The world champion profited from a mass crash that also involved the victor of stage one, Colombian Fernando Gaviria and another favourite Michael Matthews, some two kilometres before the finish. "Tomorrow's another day", he said, with his Quick Step team among the favourites to win on Monday.

"Team EF-Drapac managed to cut their losses for Rigoberto Uran - their powerful TTT team stopping the clock in 39'21" - while Team Sunweb also ensured they lost very little over the potentially tricky parcours. They were only seven seconds back and on a similar trajectory to us so you do have to wait.

"It's reassuring to take back some time".

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"It's not a forgone conclusion just because BMC has gone well in the past".

BMC, which is searching for a new title sponsor, also won the previous team time trial on the Tour in 2015.

And they lost just one more second in the finale, leaving Phillipe Gilbert just 4 seconds short of yellow but BMC - and Van Avermaet - with a stage win and the race lead to show after an excellent performance.

BMC Racing has been a flawless fit for Bevin, who has been able to develop into one of the premier time trial riders on the World Tour.

Nearly every team, bar those not expecting to perform well, were equipped with aero oversocks and speedsuits, alongside the expected time trial helmets and time trial-specific bikes. But he said his latest result will be hard to beat.

I think the guys were really impressive today. To be a time trial victor at the Tour de France is going to be hard top that's for sure.

However, Porte is now narrowly ahead of Alejandro Valverde (53s) and four-time champion Froome (55s) while Italy's Vincenzo Nibali is at 1m06s with France's Romain Bardet (1m15s) and Nairo Quintana (2m08s).

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