Porte on the up after BMC’s time trial win

Porte on the up after BMC’s time trial win

Sagan, riding for Bora-Hansgrohe, edged a field of nine lined up for the final reckoning but had to deal with French specialist Arnaud Demare and the Italian Colbrelli, who came within a hair's breadth of the win with a daring last second wheel push to come second.

"It was really a hard sprint, " Sagan said. It was climbing a little bit in a headwind and already the last five kilometres were up and down. "It was a mess".

Sagan leads Gaviria by six seconds in the overall standings, with champion Chris Froome trailing by 1min7sec.

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.

Sagan moved to the front of the small bunch hunting for position, reaching a speed of 57.6 kph on the final 500 metres on his way to the finish line. "It was a mess", Sagan said.

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

"We have to respect that he's allowed to race, and within a safe environment, and he's had all kinds of abuse at the moment and no athlete should have to go ride under that and have their safety questioned at the sport's biggest event".

Peter Sagan, the leader following stage two, was dropped by his Bora-Hansgrohe team-mates but it is stage victories and the points classification jersey that are in his sights.


Froome, who fell into a ditch near the end of Saturday's opening stage, arrived safely with most of the peloton.

Froome is now aiming to join Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain as the only riders to win the Tour five times.

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.

BMC also started early on, and leveraged a smooth performance out on the road into a superb time which overtook Team Sky at the finish.

It proved interesting with enough changes to the time gaps among riders like Porte, Chris Froome (Sky), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Romain Bardet (AG2R) to make for a juicy race.

Porte may be linked with a switch to the American Trek-Segafredo team next year, but the future of other riders and team staff is uncertain; and in the biggest race of the year, Monday's victory was the medicine they all collectively needed to reaffirm their overriding goal of reaching the finish as the team of the 2018 Tour victor.

Movistar lost 53 seconds, which leaves Colombian Nairo Quintana, twice runner-up, 1:13 behind Froome - a massive amount of time after only three days of racing.

Early on, three riders formed the breakaway: Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Énergie), Michael Gogl (Trek-Segafredo) and Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert). He was absorbed by the peloton with eight miles left. Tsgabu Grmay of Ethiopia also retired.

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