Chris Froome loses ground in chaotic crash at Tour de France

This July 4 crash resulted in both Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan exiting the Tour de France

This July 4 crash resulted in both Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan exiting the Tour de France

While Sky's top placed rider is Geraint Thomas three seconds off the lead, 2017 Giro victor Dumoulin is just 11 seconds down, but perhaps Bardet is the man with the most to smile about at this stage.

BMC Racing Team claimed Stage 3 of the 2018 Tour de France on Monday as they set the fastest time in the team time trial.

BMC's win on Monday, their third in a team time trial this year, had several positive outcomes.

Other than a couple of fans holding up signs such as "Froome go home" on Saturday and Sunday, the festive Atlantic coast jaunt went well for Froome until 6km from home when he was forced off the road, escaping unhurt but losing around a minute to some key rivals.

Vincenzo Nibali's Bahrain-Merida squad were 11th on the day, giving up 62 seconds to Sky, while Romain Bardet's AG2R La Mondiale team finished 12th, 71 seconds off Sky's time. "I could see it was going to be a good year", said Sagan, who was thrown off the Tour last year after being judged culpable of a fall that ended fellow sprinter Mark Cavendish's Tour.

Froome and his Sky team-mates were also left behind but they did at least stay upright, 24 hours after Froome lost 51 seconds to most of his general classification rivals thanks to a tumble in the final six kilometres.

"It was getting quite chaotic with the sprint teams but that's bike racing".

"It puts us right back in the game".

The four time victor of the yellow jersey was hoping for a quiet start to his Tour but it wasn't to be as he took a tumble on the run-in, and ended up losing a considerable chunk of time to the majority of of his general classification rivals. "You have to step up and deliver on the day and that's not an easy thing to do on a Tour de France team time trial stage".

"There's a photo of the team on the podium with Greg in yellow and I think it's one I will cherish for a long time".

"It was also our last realistic chance to get the yellow jersey with the team time-trial tomorrow".

Fernando Gaviria showed why he can become the future of Grand Tour sprinting on Saturday as he edged out Peter Sagan and Marcel Kittel for victory on stage one of the Tour de France.

The World Anti-Doping Agency accepted Froome's explanation of the result, which essentially challenged the foundation of the test, showing that levels of excretion can vary widely as a result of factors such as dehydration.

Though they regrouped quickly, with Philippe Gilbert now their yellow jersey hope, they could not make back the time they lost as they finished third on the stage.

With 15km to go, the GC teams moved to the front in order to protect their leaders, with Sky, Movistar and BMC setting the pace. Smith was focussed on winning the climber's polka dot jersey, and once he had secured that after the only classified climb came early in the stage, he was called back to the bunch to help his team.

"We're happy, we had the yellow and that's part of history".