Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
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Tour de France 2018: stage three

Tour de France 2018: stage three

Stage victor Slovakia's Peter Sagan, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, celebrates on the podium after the second stage of the Tour de France.

Defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome ended the first stage with grass stains on his Team Sky jersey after tumbling off the road and into a grassy field with 5 kilometers to go.

Thomas, who wore yellow for four days past year, said that he was not bothered by the...

Chris Froome, bidding for a record-equaling fifth title, and 175 other riders set off on the first stage of the 2018 Tour de France Saturday from the island of Noirmoutier off the Atlantic coast.

Yates and Froome sit in 81st and 84th places respectively, 67 seconds off yellow but more concerned about the 51 second gap to the likes of Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Mikel Landa (Movistar).

"We'll try our best for the team, it'll be hard but you never know in cycling", said the yellow jersey wearer on his chances of holding on to it.

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.

At his post-race media conference, Gaviria added: "It's been an awesome day, I've dreamt of this victory and the possibility of taking the yellow jersey".

"Some days you're on the right side of it, others you lose time but proud of my boys today", the Irishman tweeted.

Van Avermaet's teammate Tejay van Garderen finished on the same time to take second place overall with Sky's Geraint Thomas third.

"The yellow jersey is one that everyone dreams of wearing and to get it on the first day is unbelievable", said Gaviria, who was making his debut in cycling's most prestigious race.

"This isn't the first time I've been a minute down or had to dig in, it's just racing, that's what we're here for", he said at the starting line.

"They were the second to last team and they had a great ride".

Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and François Thomazeau discuss the stage and Peter Sagan's first Tour stage win since his disqualification from last year's 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.

"You probably won't believe me but I didn't even think about it", he said of yellow.

Sky were second off the start ramp and set off to a mixed reception one week after the UCI announced it had closed its anti-doping investigation into Froome.

"Obviously it was a tough one today but the big strong guys did a great job and it was a ideal team time trial", Porte told We all want to be successful here. He was also part of the team that won the team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico.

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