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35.5 KM ( TTT) CHOLET > CHOLET - 38’46’’28 [BMC]
Today's Team Time Trial passed off without major incident for the Wanty-Groupe Gobert boys. Pasqua told us his main impressions of the day were the dozens of cameramen on the roadside, as well as the millions of roundabouts they had to negotiate en-route. All the lads were blown away at the number of WGG fans cheering them on. I've told Pasqua I'm selling my house tomorrow so that I can get on to Paddypower and put all the cash all on him winning stage 6. I'm not sure he realises I'm serious ...
Pasqua leads Wanty-Groupe Gobert in the Team Time Trial
The TTT route was a 35.5 km loop out and back from Cholet. Not a typically flat UK-style TT route it featured a couple of little kickers, one of which did for Peter Sagan and his hopes of retaining the yellow jersey again today.
Dion Smith proudly wears the KOM jersey in the Team Time Trial
Ok, so how many Belgians make good testers? It's not really their bag is it. Fair to say the Wanty lads are neither renowned for their ability contre le montre, nor do they have any ambition in this regard. That said, it was important today to limit time loses on GC for Guillaume Martin and if possible retain the polka-dot jersey for Dion Smith.
Kiwi Dion Smith retains the polka-dot jersey for another day
The team came home in a time of 41'10, 21st of the 22 teams. But it was job done. Dion became the first Kiwi to wear the spotty jumper for two days consecutively (after becoming the first Kiwi to wear it ever yesterday). With just one 4th cat climb on tomorrow's stage at 135.5 km Dion will probably need to get himself up the road if he wants to extend that unlikely record further.. Guilm seemed pretty content to only lose 2'24" on the stage winners:
Guillaume Martin tweet following Team Time Trial
The pointy lids can go back in the mechanics truck for a few days while tomorrow the lads get back to the business of proper bike racing, i.e. getting in the break and showing off those flouro bits during 195 km of hot, flat nothingness.
Video of how Team Wanty-Groupe Gobert retained the KOM jersey
Summary of the stage from ASO:
It was business almost as usual for Team BMC in Monday's stage 3 as they confirmed their status as the world's leading team time trial specialists to win the 35-km effort in Cholet. Richie Porte and his team-mates, five of which were already in the team who won a TTT on the Tour in 2015, clocked 38:46, to upstage pre-stage favourites Team Sky by four seconds. Third place went to Quick Step, who lost the stage and their yellow jersey chances by seven seconds. Peter Sagan, who was dropped by his Bora Hansgrohe teammates, handed his yellow jersey to Greg Van Avermaet, who already led the Tour de France for three days in 2016, the year he also became Olympic champion.
Check back tomorrow for more from inside the peloton at the 2018 Tour de France.