Tejay van Garderen misses Tour de France yellow jersey on tiebreak

Froome right and Rowe are prepared for verbal and physical abuse during the Tour

Dan Martin's UAE Team Emirates team, meanwhile, could only manage 15th place, one minute 39 seconds off the winning time, after key man Oliviero Troia suffered an early puncture.

Mitchelton-Scott were fourth in the time trial, two seconds ahead of world champions Sunweb.

"We knew that Team Sky would be the team to beat and we also knew that it would be close".

BMC also started early on, and leveraged a smooth performance out on the road into a superb time which overtook Team Sky at the finish.

BMC's Richie Porte is level with Froome with their respective teams looking to do well on the team time trial.

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.

"The only thing I can really understand from it was that Chris didn't even go to the adverse analytical finding, it didn't even get to that stage, he was asked to explain himself which he got given due process to do and he was cleared by the people that run the sport and doping agency and that's all we really know".

"There will be a lot more time lost throughout the GC group before we hit the mountains".

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

"It's a flawless day, I was a bit scared because Sonny was coming back strong", said Sagan, who also wore the yellow jersey in 2016.

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). "I will enjoy it tomorrow because for any rider it is a special feeling".

The other members of BMC are Kiwi rider Patrick Bevin, Damiano Caruso, Simon Gerrans, Stefan Kung and Michael Schar.

Sagan, however, said there was no revenge factor in mind, and that just wearing yellow was reason enough to celebrate. "It just shows that we are here, too, and let's get it on". "It's a very good start".

The Tour de France continues Tuesday with a mostly flat 121-mile stage four, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold (full broadcast schedule here).

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

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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