Saturday, 20 April, 2019

Porte on the up after BMC’s time trial win

Peter Sagan is happy to be back at the Tour after being kicked out early in 2017 Peter Sagan is happy to be back at the Tour after being kicked out early in 2017
Cary Erickson | 12 July, 2018, 09:26

BMC, which is searching for a new title sponsor, also won the previous team time trial on the Tour in 2015.

The red-and-white checkered cloths were created following Theodore Botrel's song first performed in April 1900, "Le mouchoir rouge de Cholet".

La Roche-sur-Yon, France (AFP) - World champion Peter Sagan said he had three reasons to be cheerful as he won stage two and took the overall leader's yellow jersey in front of family and friends from Slovakia on the Tour de France on Sunday.

Van Avermaet, who excels at single-day classics, isn't a threat for the overall title but he could keep the lead through the cobblestoned Stage 9 ending in Roubaix. It would have been nice not to have thrown 51 seconds away on the first day.

"The legs feel good and I'm optimistic about what is to come hopefully", said Froome.

That meant that Froome, Yates and BMC's Porte were all able to take a chunk of time back on several key rivals after suffering losses on stage one.

Among the overall favourites, Dumoulin was seventh (11 seconds behind), last year's runner-up Rigoberto Uran was 10th (:35), Porte was 14th (:51), Movistar teammates Alejandro Valverde and Mikel Landa were 17th (:53), Froome was 18th (:55), Adam Yates was 20th (1:00) and 2014 champion Vincenzo Nibali was 22nd (1:06). But as I say, that's bike racing.

"We rode out of our skin and super smooth and with the horsepower that we have did a great ride", the Irishman said.

Finally, England and Croatia have chance to banish semi blues
The midfield, in particular, has an enviable El Clásico combination of Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Barcelona's Ivan Rakitić. He has scored 3 goals from 3 penalties. "He has minor issues but we have a huge game tomorrow".

"One day you gain, one day you lose".

"We're taking some time back on some of the other GC guys".

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.

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. Without the leak we wouldn't even know about it, but that's the nature of sport now. "It was all about trying to win the stage". We've been close in the past in Tour team time trials.

Overnight leader Colombia's Gaviria, who is just 23, said he was happy to be in the white best young riders jersey, although he too will be in pursuit of the green sprint points tunic too. "Close but not quite quick enough".

Froome put in an imperial performance on Monday showing the kind of power in the saddle that has led him to four previous Tour de France victories where he dominates the time trials and defends his lead in the mountains.

For Porte, the stage win took on special significance as it marked a year since he crashed out of last year's Tour on the decent into Chambery on the ninth stage. The rider was the fastest in a very reduced group that resulted after a last-kilometres crash.