'Rapt' Richie Porte gets Tour campaign back on track

Chris Froome didn't get an entirely warm welcome. Some of the fans in Vendee were heard booing the defending champ

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.

BMC, which is searching for a new title sponsor, also won the previous team time trial on the Tour in 2015.

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

That meant that Froome, Yates and BMC's Porte were all able to take a chunk of time back on several key rivals after suffering losses on stage one.

Though they regrouped quickly, with Philippe Gilbert now their yellow jersey hope, they could not make back the time they lost as they finished third on the stage.

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Team Sky's Geraint Thomas missed out on the yellow jersey by just three seconds, having started the day sixth in the general classification and one second up on Van Avermaet. "We've got some specialists in the team, I'm so happy we got this collective victory".

Tom Dumoulin led the way for Sunweb, putting in a big shift over the early climb and another onto the final run-in, before swinging off for Michael Matthews to lead them home 11 seconds in arrears to BMC Racing. "We gave it everything we had and it all went pretty much to plan".

The three-time defending world champion took the overall lead of the Tour on Sunday after he bettered about a dozen other sprinters to win Stage 2. "I love France and the Tour, which is the most lovely race on the planet".

Vincenzo Nibali's Bahrain-Merida squad were 11th on the day, giving up 62 seconds to Team Sky, while Romain Bardet's AG2R La Mondiale team finished 12th, 71 seconds back.

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

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"We rode out of our skin and super smooth and with the horsepower that we have did a great ride", the Irishman said. They were only seven seconds back and on a similar trajectory to us so you do have to wait.

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

The 39-year-old, competing in a record 18th Tour de France and his 350th stage, enjoyed his day in the spotlight, sitting up to high-five fans in the towns early in the day as the peloton was happy to let him go.

"Fernando won yesterday and now I'm the one with the yellow jersey, it's been exciting". We just wanted to get that stage. If his legs are good after the Giro d'Italia, we already know he can be a threat. "To win the stage with a team like we have here, and especially with the passing of Andy Rihs, is special", Porte said. The rider was the fastest in a very reduced group that resulted after a last-kilometres crash.

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