Martin recovers from crash as Gaviria sprints to win

Tanya Simon
July 10, 2018

Team Sky had laid down the gauntlet with a strong effort, but having recorded an identical time over the first 13 kilometres, BMC were six seconds ahead as they passed through the second checkpoint.

"He's faster than me but it's ok", Sagan said candidly.

Speaking in Eurosport's brand new "The Bradley Wiggins Show", he said that, even though the case has overshadowed the sport all year, the Team Sky rider - and his former team-mate - has risen above all the criticism and his ability dictates he should still be the man to beat this year.

Quick-Step Floors' Fernando Gaviria has taken his second victory at the 2018 Tour de France on a day his team had to take all the control over the speed of the peloton.

Quick-Step's Gaviria edged out Peter Sagan at the line for his second stage victory of this year's Tour, BMC's Greg Van Avermaet retained the yellow jersey by finishing in the front group at the end of the 195km stage from La Baule.

Van Avermaet earned the yellow jersey by leading BMC over the line, just ahead of American teammate Tejay van Garderen, who moved up to second overall, with the same time as Van Avermaet.

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

Froome is aiming to join Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain as the only riders to win the Tour five times.

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The team time-trial might not be the opening week Tour staple it once was, but after the bruising high-octane action of the opening weekend, it represented a major chance for the GC contenders to make some major time gains - or claw back lost time - over their rivals.

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

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.

"Sky gained on the final part of the course, stopping the clock in 38'50" but their clubhouse lead did not last long as BMC Racing dug deep on the final run-in to shave another four seconds off.

Plagued by suspicions regarding his misuse of asthma-related medicine, the four-time tour victor suffered a start to this morning's Tour that will have undoubtedly pleased many of those fans who had booed Froome and Team Sky earlier this week. "I feel maybe even better (than last year)".

Van Avermaet also wore the yellow jersey for three days on the 2016 Tour.

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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