New Zealand cyclist wins stage on Tour de France

Watch: Chris Froome Crashes 5 Km From Finish In Tour De France Opener

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.

"Earlier in the year, I thought it might have an effect on him", said Wiggins.

The Quick-Step Floors rider launched his sprint far from the line, and made sure of the win with a second burst of speed to beat world champion Peter Sagan and German Andre Greipel into second and third place respectively.

Cholet: "I'm rapt as dunny paper with that one, it was a super ride by the boys", said a justifiably elated Richie Porte after the Australian and his teammates got his Tour de France campaign back on track with an impressive stage three team time trial win on Monday.

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.

There was also an incident in which Bora-Hansgrohe's Peter Sagan, in the green jersey, caught on camera mid-altercation with another rider, something the commissaires will no doubt take a look at.

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

Sagan has won the sprinters jersey five times and is a strong favourite to claim a sixth in Paris.

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.

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.

After crossing a bridge to the mainland, the route will take riders along the coastline before heading slightly inland for the finish.

Froome's Sky team mate Geraint Thomas could however prove a thorn in his side as the Welshman, who underlined his credentials by winning the Criterium du Dauphine last month, is third overall, 52 seconds ahead of his leader. With another gruelling trip across the Alps and Pyrenees, who will wear the yellow jersey on the Champs-Elysees?

"I feel maybe even better (than last year)", Porte said. "It's still a long way to go, six more hectic days and the mountains".

The Tour heads into the cycling hotbed of Brittany tomorrow for Stage 4, a mostly flat 195-kilometre leg from La Baule to Sarzeau that starts and ends on the Atlantic coast.

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