Froome faces early challenge from BMC team at Tour de France

Froome faces early challenge from BMC team at Tour de France

World champion Peter Sagan won a sprint finish to claim the second stage of the Tour de France and the race's overall lead on Sunday, while Chris Froome had a calmer ride after his tumble in the first leg.

Belgian team Quick Step came third at seven seconds but because Fernando Gaviria was dropped along the route he failed to reclaim the race leader's yellow jersey, which was instead claimed by BMC's Olympic road race champion Greg van Avermaet.

Overall, Froome is in 18th place, 55sec off the pace and still 44 behind 2017 Giro d'Italia victor Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, who with Team Sunweb only lost 7sec to the Briton.

Sagan would have been happy to hold on to it, but the yellow jersey isn't his priority for the Tour, and with the top 59 riders overall separated by just 16 seconds, it was going to take something special from Bora-Hansgrohe to keep him on top.

"It's been a great little journey over the past couple of months to come to this team and become part of a really tight team time trial unit and to really add to that is something I will be proud of for a long time", he said.

Froome's teammate Geraint Thomas could prove a thorn in his side as the Welshman, who underlined his credentials by winning the Criterium du Dauphine in June, is third overall, 52sec ahead of his leader. "It wasn't ideal to throw 51 seconds away but we have taken some good time back on some of the other GC (general classification) guys today.

But this is the biggest one in the world and you get to stand up there on the podium with your team-mates and having a team-mate jump into the yellow jersey is another cool aspect", Bevin said.

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The world champion profited from a mass crash that also involved the victor of stage one, Colombian Fernando Gaviria and another favourite Michael Matthews, some two kilometres before the finish.

It was also a very satisfying day for Froome, the Kenyan-born Briton ignoring some booing at the start line and making up some of the valuable time he lost on Saturday's first stage.

Froome was left 55 seconds behind in the overall standings with another week of nervy rolling stages before hitting the Alps. He also wore the yellow jersey in three stages at the Tour de France two years ago.

Movistar's Nairo Quintana - who has finished second twice and third once behind Froome in the past five years - lost more time as his team finished 53 seconds off the pace.

"This makes up for past year", he said.

The International Cycling Union WorldTour race is due to continue tomorrow with a 195km stage from La Baule to Sarzeau.

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