Nicolas Roche

Froome, Thomas and Sky answer their doubters in Tour opener

One stage into the Tour de France was all it took for Chris Froome and his Team Sky to answer all the pre-race talk about how they are not as dominant this year.

Geraint Thomas, Froome's most loyal support rider in his three Tour victories, won the wet and slippery opening stage and claimed the yellow jersey.

Averaging 52 kph (32 mph), Thomas required little more than 16 minutes over the almost entirely flat 14-kilometer (8.7-mile) individual time trial up and down the banks of the Rhine River in downtown Duesseldorf.

Stefan Kueng of BMC finished second, five seconds behind, and Vasil Kiryienka of Sky was third, seven seconds back.

Froome was sixth, 12...