Porte boosts Tour prospects after team win

Richie Porte has moved up to 15th in the Tour de France after the third stage time trial

Richie Porte had plenty of reason to be happy after clawing back time as his BMC Racing outfit claimed victory in the team trial on the Tour de France.

Porte, who lost 51 seconds in the opening stage after being caught behind a pile-up, helped his team edge out Chris Froome's Team Sky by four seconds over the 35.5km circuit on stage three.

It was a double celebration as the victory also thrust teammate Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium into the yellow jersey.

Porte leapt up the overall standings to 14th spot, 51 seconds behind Van Avermaet and American teammate Tejay van Garderen, who has the same time as the Belgian.

It was also a crucial day for morale on BMC Racing, which faces an uncertain future as it searches for a new sponsor next year, a day after a report emerged that Porte will leave to join Trek-Segafredo.

"Today puts us right back in the game," said Porte.

"I think after what happened on the first stage, throwing 51 seconds away, it was good to take back time on some of the other GC guys.

I think the guys were really impressive today. They did a really good job. It's hard to pinpoint one of the guys but when you have someone like Stefan Kung, it makes it a little easier."

Of Porte's biggest rivals, Dutchman Tom Dumoulin is best-placed in third, 11 seconds behind Van Avermaet while Colombia's Rigoberto Uran and Denark's Jacob Fuglsgang are both 35 seconds down.

However, Porte is now narrowly ahead of Alejandro Valverde (53s) and four-time champion Froome (55s) while Italy's Vincenzo Nibali is at 1m06s with France's Romain Bardet (1m15s) and Nairo Quintana (2m08s).

Mitchelton-Scott were fourth in the time trial, two seconds ahead of world champions Sunweb.

Australia's Michael Matthews of Sunweb sits in ninth spot, 11 seconds behind Van Avermae.

"We're taking some time back on some of the other GC guys," said Porte. "It's still a long way to go, six more hectic days and the mountains."