The last team out on the course was the one with the rider in the overall lead, Bora Hansgrohe, and as they approached the second time check it was clear that Peter Sagan would be surrendering the yellow jersey, the road world champion blowing up moments later, putting it beyond doubt that the lead would change hands.
Vincenzo Nibali's Bahrain-Merida squad were 11th on the day, giving up 62 seconds to Sky, while Romain Bardet's AG2R La Mondiale team finished 12th, 71 seconds off Sky's time. "We've got some specialists in the team, I'm so happy we got this collective victory".
Agence France-PresseParis: Chris Froome was booed by a section of the public on the starting ramp but otherwise enjoyed a great day in the Tour de France team time-trial on Monday where Sky were edged by four seconds by winners BMC.
Froome's teammate Geraint Thomas could prove a thorn in his side as the Welshman, who underlined his credentials by winning the Criterium du Dauphine in June, is third overall, 52sec ahead of his leader.
World champion Peter Sagan said he had three reasons to be cheerful as he won stage two and took the overall leader's yellow jersey in front of family and friends from Slovakia at the Tour de France on Sunday.
Quick-Step Floors, the second last team to start, were the one remaining serious threat that could deny BMC the stage win, and started like a house on fire - so much so that their ranks split apart, with second placed rider overall Fernando Gaviria among those cut loose. It would have been nice not to have lost it in the first place.
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He first returned figures of 4 for 38 and then came ahead of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina to hit an unbeaten 33 off just 14 balls. India started well as Rohit Sharma shied with the bat right from the start, Dhawan, however, had to face an early exit.
Separately, France's Sylvain Chavanel, who wore the yellow jersey in 2010, became the first rider to start 18 Tours de France.
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.
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. "It's still a long way to go, six more hectic days and the mountains".
"It was a strong effort from everyone", said the 33-year-old.
Two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana is 1:31 back after he lost time following the puncture of both his tires near the end of Stage 1.
Tonight's fourth stage is a flat, 195km stage in Brittany between La Baule and Sarzeau that is expected to finish in a bunch sprint.