Chris Froome barged off road during Stage 1 - Tour de

Chris Froome

Chris Froome

Sky finished second and Quick-Step Floors came third, seven seconds behind.

Among the overall favorites, 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).

Team Sky, another unusual early starter, were booed by roadside spectators throughout their effort but posted nearly identical times through the first two time checks - as did BMC Racing, who also found themselves in an unfamiliar early start time. As I've said from the start, the legs are good. "We did well as a team but disappointed not to take the win, we were so close", he said.

Recovering sufficiently to finish one minute behind the Colombian victor, Fernando Gaviria, Froome ended up in the wrong position of a chaotic finish to a largely sedate first stage.

The Tour remains in western France for Stage 3 on Monday with a 35.5-kilometre team time trial that starts and finishes in Cholet.

BMC clocked 38 minutes 46 seconds as their Belgian rider Greg van Avermaet took the overall leader's yellow jersey, with Sky in second place four seconds behind.

Overnight leader Peter Sagan was dropped by his Bora Hansgrohe teammates and fell to 80th overall, three minutes behind.

Sagan has won the sprinters jersey five times and is a strong favourite to claim a sixth in Paris.

Gaviria's compatriot Rigoberto Uran nearly lost time after being caught in a late crash around 5km from the finish, but he was paced back to the main group by his EF Education First-Drapac team to stay 10th, 35 seconds behind Van Avermaet.

The latter's hopes of reclaiming the maillot jaune took an early hit, however, as he lost contact with the back of the Quick-Step train and the team split apart early in the stage. Van Garderen almost became the second (or sixth) American to wear the yellow jersey. "I feel maybe even better (than last year)". "We're on track but there's still so much to go through". "It just shows that we are here, too, and let's get it on".

It was all about the team for Thomas, though, even if he missed out on the yellow jersey by three seconds.

Cavendish, looking to add to his 30 career Tour stage wins and chase down Eddy Merckx's all-time record of 34, was well-placed with his Dimension Data team in the long straight to the finish line in Sarzeau on Brittany's west coast.

The only individual time trial of the race comes in the penultimate stage, over a 31-kilometer route from Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle to Espelette in the Basque country.

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