Kiwi cyclist Patrick Bevin celebrates BMC team win at Tour de France

GETTYChris Froome prepares to take on the Day 3 Team trial ending the stage back inside the top 20

Richie Porte had plenty of reason to be happy after clawing back time as his BMC Racing outfit claimed victory in the team trial on the Tour de France.

They also put Van Avermaet into the overall race lead, making him the first reigning Olympic road race champion to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France's history.

Porte, who lost 51 seconds in the opening stage after being caught behind a pile-up, helped his team edge out Chris Froome's Team Sky by four seconds over the 35.5km circuit on stage three.

"BMC's winning time of 38'46" was four seconds better than Team Sky, seven seconds up on Quick-Step Floors and nine seconds up on Mitchelton-Scott.

"I don't think it is a bad thing to have the yellow jersey for a team looking for a sponsor", said Porte, who crashed out of last year's Tour and lost time in Stage 1 of this edition.

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.

Van Avermaet's teammate Tejay van Garderen finished on the same time to take second place overall with Sky's Geraint Thomas in third.

"It's about what I expected, we thought we'd lose a bit to Froome and we lost a bit to Froome", said the dry-witted Quintana.

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"We rode a decent time trial and even if we still lost a lot of time I'm relieved", said Bardet.

Froome was left 55 seconds behind in the overall standings with another week of nervy rolling stages before hitting the Alps.

The 28-year-old Sagan said this win means that "I'm really back" following his disqualification from the 2017 Tour.

In a race that could be decided by a matter of seconds, the time loss is a big early setback for Team Sky leader Froome, in the race after being cleared of any wrongdoing following a urine test that showed he had an excessive level of a banned asthma medication in last year's Tour of Spain.

BMC's Belgian rider Greg Van Avermaet will take possession of the yellow jersey from world champion Peter Sagan.

Movistar lost 53sec, which leaves Colombian Nairo Quintana, twice runner-up, 1:13 behind Froome - a huge gap after only three days of racing.

Tomorrow the Tour de France 204-kilometre sprint stage with the only mountain of the fourth category, which the participants of the race will overcome 60 kilometers from the finish.

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