Romain Feillu has the race jury to thank for his spell in the yellow jersey. On stage one he finished 57 seconds behind winner Valverde as did Markus Fothen. Both riders appealed, Fothen because he had punctured in the final three kilometres, presumably Feillu also suffered a misfortune. They were successful and placed in a group of thirteen eighteen seconds behind the winner. The 39 seconds gained enabled the fortunate Frenchman to head the general classification after stage three by 35 seconds from co-escapee Paolo Longo Borghini.
You will not be surprised to learn that greenjersey is unfamiliar with the minutiae of the race regulations but it is clear that there is considerable scope for debate here. There were at least eight distinct groups between Valverde and Feillu as the race split apart on the ramp up to the finish. It is difficult to understand the reason for choosing the 18 second group as his “fair” finishing place.