Australian Simon Gerrans took the Tour de France leader's yellow jersey when his Orica-GreenEdge outfit won Tuesday's team time trial, 24 hours after he had won the third stage.

The Australian team crossed the line in 25 minutes 56 seconds, making it the fastest stage in the Tour's history.

They finished one second ahead of Belgian world champions Omega Pharma Quick-Step with Britain's Team Sky a further two seconds behind in third.

"It has been a dream start for us," Orica-GreenEdge sporting director Matt White said in a finish-line interview.

"We knew we would be competitive but to win (the time trial), we are very surprised."

Gerrans beat pre-stage favourite Peter Sagan of Slovakia to win Monday's individual honours and now leads the overall standings ahead of team mates Daryl Impey of South Africa and Michael Albasini of Switzerland.

The team were in the limelight for the wrong reasons on Saturday's opening stage when their bus got stuck under the overhead banner at the finish line as the speeding peloton was approaching.

Omega Pharma Quick-Step were hampered by problems with German individual time-trial world champion Tony Martin, who suffered concussion and an elbow wound in a crash in the opening stage, and Briton Mark Cavendish, who has had bronchitis.

Team Sky had their own woes with team pursuit Olympic champion Geraint Thomas of Wales riding despite a small pelvis fracture, though he kept up with his team mates until the finishing stretch.

Source: Reuters