BMC Racing Team was one of the first teams to roll off the ramp in Cholet and all eight riders quickly settled into the team’s trademark rhythm as they started their 35.5km team time trial.
Third-fastest at the first intermediate checkpoint after 13km, BMC Racing Team kicked it up another gear heading into the second part of the course, setting the best time at the 26.5km mark before the first five riders powered across the line in a time of 38’46”20 to move into the hot seat.
After a long wait, BMC Racing Team’s impressive show of strength, speed and teamwork proved to be enough to take both the stage win and the leader’s jersey with Van Avermaet moving into yellow ahead of teammate Tejay van Garderen at the end of the day.
The team’s excellent ride also propelled Richie Porte up the General Classification with the Australian rider able to make up time on some of his rivals and move up into 14th overall.
Greg Van Avermaet moved into the yellow jersey at the end of the day. © Chris Auld Photography.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
Greg Van Avermaet:
“I think we were really smooth today. I think everybody did a good time trial and we were all working well together. We knew that Team Sky would be the team to beat and we also knew that it would be close. We worked together and that’s what team time trials are about. We stayed together with eight guys for a long time and on this parcours, that was the key to winning the race.”
“It was a goal to get yellow in the first week. I have worn it one time already and it was an incredible feeling so, I am pretty happy to be in this position for a second time. I will enjoy it tomorrow because for any rider it is a special feeling. I want to thank my teammates as without them, it wouldn’t have happened.”
“I think after what happened on the first stage, throwing 51 seconds away, it was good to take back time on some of the other GC guys. I think the guys were really impressive today. They did a really good job. It’s hard to pinpoint one of the guys but when you have someone like Stefan Küng, it makes it a little easier.”
“It's been a fantastic day. To win the stage with a team like we have here, and especially with the passing of Andy Rihs, is special. Today puts us right back in the game. It’s still a long way to Paris but it’s great to win a stage at the Tour and we will enjoy this moment.”
“It’s also great to have the yellow jersey in the team and Greg deserves it. For me, the next few days are really about staying out of trouble. Yesterday, we put the team up towards the front and obviously you burn energy doing that but it’s just the way you have to ride at this Tour. Tomorrow is a little more straightforward perhaps but stage 5 is really hard. We’ve done a race there this year already so we know it is going to be a tricky stage.”
Sports Director, Fabio Baldato:
“Stage 1 has been forgotten about already but it did provide us with the extra boost to go faster today. Victory in the team time trial is one of the best feelings. The prize is shared between all of the team. Everybody works hard, everybody does their homework and prepares well for day’s like this and that means that the win is shared by everyone. For me, that is why day’s like this are special.”
Race Profile Tour de France:
Stage 3 / TTT: Cholet > Cholet, 35.5km.
- BMC Racing Team
- Team Sky
- Quick-Step Floors