Team Sky rallied in stage three of the Tour de France and that allowed Chris Froome to make up a lot of ground on key rivals.
<p>Chris Froome made up time on several key rivals with an impressive display in an absorbing stage three of the Tour de France. The Briton surged up to 18th place overall and made up for the time he lost by crashing in Stage 1. Froome’s Team Sky took second place in the team time trial, four seconds behind winners BMC Racing, and their performance provided stability following the crashes and chaos of the first two stages. The odds have now been cut on him winning the race for a fourth year in a row.</p><p>Froome lost 51 seconds on the race’s opening day after he clattered into a field close to the end of the stage one finish in Fontenay-le-Comte. He failed to make up the lost ground in a challenging stage two, but he is now firmly back in the mix. “The Tour didn’t start too well but that’s bike racing,” said Froome. “Thankfully it was a soft landing in a field. No injuries.</p><p>“We can be pretty happy [with stage three]. We gave it everything we had and it all went pretty much to plan. You can never tell who is going to be on a good day or not but all in all it worked out well for us. Seeing as I haven’t raced since the Giro it was nice to open up a bit. The last couple of days were a little nervy and not necessarily physically, but more mentally. Today was the first day that we could open up properly. It would have been nice not to have lost [the 55 seconds] in the first place. But there will be a lot more time lost throughout the general classification group [of overall contenders] before we hit the mountains. One day you gain, one day you lose. That’s the nature of the game.”</p><p>The odds had drifted on Froome after a challenging opening stage, but that price has now gone back in to 6/4 <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4701&book=5Dimes" title="Top rated sportsbook">with Bet365</a>. But several rivals are going strong and it looks like developing into a ferociously competitive slog. Froome’s teammate Geraint Thomas is now third, three seconds behind joint leaders Greg van Avermaet and Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing. But it is another BMC rider, Richie Porte of Australia, that will cause more consternation among the Froome camp.</p><p>Porte also lost 51 stage one after he was delayed behind a pile-up. But he helped his BMC edge out Team by completing the 35.5 kilometre circuit around Cholet in 38 minutes and 46 seconds. BMC's Belgian rider Greg Van Avermaet has now taken possession of the yellow jersey from world champion Peter Sagan, and the team is surging with confidence. Porte is their main man and he too is looking dangerous after making up a lot of time on rivals.</p><p>Porte is now priced at 9/2 <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4701&book=5Dimes" title="Top rated sportsbook">with Bet365</a>, while Thomas is 9/1. Both of them look like they could give the Briton a real run for his money during the Tour, as BMC is setting a furious pace and Thomas is in fine form. Monday was a day to forget for Vincenzo Nibali and Romain Bardet, whose advantages they held on Thomas were wiped out. Nibali has been pushed out to 14/1 to win the Tour de France, while Bardet is 16/1. Both have looked dangerous though and some punters may be attracted by those longer odds. Expect plenty more twists and turns in this epic contest over the next few days.</p>