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Australia's Gerrans takes yellow jersey

updated 5:23 PM EDT, Tue July 2, 2013
Australia's Simon Gerrans kisses his overall leader yellow jersey on the podium at the end of the 25 km team time-trial.
Australia's Simon Gerrans kisses his overall leader yellow jersey on the podium at the end of the 25 km team time-trial.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Australia's Simon Gerrans takes yellow jersey
  • Orica-GreenEdge team won Tuesday's 25 kilometer team time trial
  • Omega Pharma-Quick-Step two seconds adrift with Team Sky in third
  • Sky's Chris Froome three seconds behind Gerrans

(CNN) -- Simon Gerrans became the sixth Australian in the history of the Tour de France to wear the famous yellow jersey after leading his Orica-GreenEdge team to another victory Tuesday.

Gerrans helped his team triumph in the 25 kilometer time trial in Nice -- just 24 hours after winning the Ajaccio to Calvi stage on Corsica.

Orica-GreenEdge came home in a time of 25 minutes and 56 seconds, edging out Belgian world champion Omega Pharma-Quick-Step, while Britain's Team Sky finished a further two seconds adrift in third after the fourth stage.

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"To take the yellow jersey is the pinnacle of cycling," Gerrans told his team's official website.

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"The Tour de France is the race around the world that everyone knows, and the yellow jersey is the symbol of that race.

"Winning stages and wearing yellow changes a career. To pull on this jersey is something a rider might dream about for his whole life. Only a few guys get that opportunity. I'm thrilled to have that honor."

The 33-year-old follows in the footsteps of compatriots Phil Anderson, Stuart O'Grady, Bradley McGee, Robbie McEwen and Cadel Evans in wearing the leader's jersey.

Gerrans was particularly pleased to receive the jersey from former coach Anderson, the first non-European to wear the sport's most famous iconic of clothing.

It was after injuring a knee in a motorcycle crash in 1981 that Anderson convinced Gerrans to start cycling -- a decision which he has not regretted for a second.

"He was my first coach, it's thanks to him," Gerrans told reporters. "So it's pretty special to follow in his footsteps."

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Gerrans' success marks a remarkable start for the Australian team, which hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons on the opening day of the Tour after its team bus became stuck under the finish arch.

But after recovering from the embarrassment and the $2,116 fine, sport director Matt White believes his team are ready to shine.

"The creation of this team was a major milestone," White said.

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"We poured a lot of work into the team over the last 10-15 years. To unite so many Australians on a team with Australian DNA was the first step.

"Our success last year was a boxed ticked. Winning in Corsica yesterday was another big moment. To win today and put an Australian in yellow is a real dream come true.

"We want to keep the yellow jersey as long as possible. We have a one second advantage. Simon only has to stay in contact with the bunch during the next two stages."

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Elsewhere, Team Sky's Chris Froome sits three seconds behind Gerrans in seventh position, while Spain's Alberto Contador is in 12th some six seconds adrift.

Team Sky was favorite to win the stage but struggled with double-Olympic champion Geraint Thomas troubled by a cracked pelvis.

But Froome, who is hoping to become the second British man in succession to win the Tour following Bradley Wiggins' triumph last year, believes he's in great shape.

"I'm feeling like I'm really coming into some good form coming into the mountains," Froome told reporters.

"The goal was to get the yellow but if we were in it, it would mean 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 little bit unnecessary at the moment.

"If we'd taken the lead it would have been only by a few seconds. It gives us a few more days in the peloton and we will wait until the mountains come when I think the team will really excel."

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