Tour de France: Chris Froome happy to miss out on yellow jersey in stage four team TT

Last Updated: 02/07/13 6:02pm

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Chris Froome, right, helped drive Team Sky on to third place on stage four

Chris Froome, right, helped drive Team Sky on to third place on stage four

Sky Bet

Chris Froome was delighted with Team Sky's performance in the Tour de France stage four team time trial and admitted it was a relief to miss out on the yellow jersey.

The British squad finished the flat, 25km stage in Nice in third place, three seconds behind winners Orica-GreenEDGE and two seconds behind runners-up Omega Pharma - Quick-Step.

More significantly, the result saw Froome gain time on his rivals in the general classification, with Alberto Contador's Saxo-Tinkoff team stopping the clock six seconds slower than Team Sky, Cadel Evans's BMC 23 seconds slower and Joaquim Rodriguez's Katusha 25 seconds down.

Froome was happy to move up the standings and saw narrowly avoiding the potentially tiring responsibilities of the yellow jersey, which went to Simon Gerrans, as an added bonus.

He said: "That was a really satisfactory time and we are really happy with the result. Personally, I felt really good. I felt like I was able to do little bit longer pulls on the front and I feel like I am coming into some really good form now ahead of the mountains.

Pressure-free

"If we were in the jersey it would mean that tomorrow, and the next couple of days, which are predominantly flat, we would be on the front doing all that work, which I think would be a bit unnecessary at the moment for such a small advantage.

"If we had taken yellow, it would have only been by a few seconds, so we are really happy with that time, just three seconds back. That gives us a few more days to be in the peloton and we will wait until the mountains come, where I feel the team will really excel."

"It is the pinnacle of the sport to get the yellow jersey. So few guys have been able to have that honour and I am thrilled."
Simon Gerrans

Gerrans claimed the yellow jersey just 24 hours after the Orica-GreenEDGE rider had sprinted to victory on stage three.

His team rode most of the time trial with faulty radios, but despite not knowing where they stood in relation to other squads, they upset the odds to claim an impressive win.

Gerrans reaches 'pinnacle'

Gerrans said: "It was just a fantastic team effort. Everyone committed 100 per cent and it is fantastic that we get rewarded with a team win and the yellow jersey to top it off.

"We were by no means the favourites coming into this stage, but I knew there weren't very many weak links in our team. It is a very even group."

Gerrans now becomes only the sixth Australian to win the yellow jersey, following in the footsteps of Phil Annderson, Stuart O'Grady, Bradley McGee, Robbie McEwen and Cadel Evans.

He added: "It is the pinnacle of the sport to get the yellow jersey. So few guys have been able to have that honour and I am thrilled."

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