Thomas moves to within three seconds of the yellow jersey

Geraint Thomas said that he was disappointed after missing out on victory with Team Sky in the Tour de France’s team time trial in Cholet, but is still sitting high on the general classification

Team Sky finished second best in the 35.5km team time trial west of Cholet in Vendée. They briefly held the lead, but Richie Porte‘s BMC Racing team pushed them out by four seconds. Greg Van Avermaet took the race leader’s yellow jersey at the end of stage three.

“Obviously, I’m a bit disappointed not to win but at least we were there or thereabouts,” Thomas said.

>>> BMC Racing win Tour de France team time trial to put Greg Van Avermaet in yellow

Thomas was the best placed Sky rider going into the stage and stood to take the yellow jersey for a second year after spending a few days in yellow 2017. However, the Welshman now sits at third overall, three seconds back from Van Avermaet and Tejay van Garderen.

“I think it was a real technical sort of race because you’ve got the wind, a lot of changes of direction, and up and down as well,” Thomas said. “You’ve got to really ride well as a team and I think we did that. It’s just always disappointing to not take the win when it’s so close.”


Watch: Tour de France stage three highlights


Sky lost the four seconds to overall favourite Porte but put time into other rivals like Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).

“It’s only a few seconds to Richie, so that’s not too bad and hopefully we gained a bit of time on everyone else,” Thomas said.

The team shelled Wout Poels and Luke Rowe before the halfway point and then rode on with six, more than other teams including BMC Racing.

“We knew it was the fourth guy over the line and if they could just go as long as they could and if they didn’t feel great, just to commit anyway and do it all for the team which is what they did.”

The commitment also saw Chris Froome gain time back after his stage one crash. He now sits 18th at 55 seconds in the general classification.

>>> Five talking points from stage three of the Tour de France

“That’s reassuring, I mean it would’ve been nice not to lose it in the first place,” Froome said. “But as I said that’s bike racing and I think there’ll be a lot more time lost throughout the GC group before we hit the mountains. It’s one day you gain, one day you lose and that’s just the nature of the game.”

Froome said he is “feeling fine after the crash” and said that it is not like the one he had in Jerusalem ahead of the stage one time trial of the Giro d’Italia.

“I mean obviously it didn’t start too well with the crash on stage one but that’s bike racing,” Froome explained.

“There’s a lot of racing to come so just taking it one day at a time at the moment and trying to get through the best we can until we get to the mountains.”