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Chris Froome is thrilled to close gap on his Tour rivals

By Ian Parker

BMC edged out Team Sky for victory in the stage three team time trial at the Tour de France but Chris Froome was able to wipe out many of the losses suffered in Saturday's chaotic opener.

What had once been viewed as an opportunity to make time had become a chance to gain it back after Froome lost 51 seconds to his main rivals on Saturday.

And though Sky missed out on victory - and a chance to put Geraint Thomas in the yellow jersey - Froome was able to eradicate the deficit to many of the other contenders.

BMC proved the class of the field though, completing the 35.5km circuit around Cholet in a time of 38 minutes 46 seconds, four seconds ahead of Sky, to put Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet in yellow.

Thomas missed out on yellow by three seconds, but Sky will be happy to see many of Froome's rivals lose significant time.

Movistar could only manage 10th place, 50 seconds off Sky's pace, which means Froome is almost back on level terms with Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde, while Nairo Quintana dropped even further back.

"We can be pretty happy," Froome said. "We gave it everything and it all went to plan. You can never tell who is going to be on a good day, but all in all it worked out well for us.

"It's reassuring to take back time. There will be more time lost throughout the GC group before we hit the mountains. One day you gain, one day you lose."

Belfast Telegraph

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