• Porte and Yates cross the line as BMC and Mitchelton-Scott start the tour on a bad note (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The concept is simple enough, putting aside reputation and looking at what has happened during the racing, which teams have shown themselves to be better than the rest?
By
Cycling Central

8 Jul 2018 - 11:16 AM 

It's often a tough task to tell at a glance which teams are doing well at the Tour de France, there are 22 of them going around France, each with their own objectives and strengths. 

So borrowing a tool from other sports, Cycling Central will be running a Power Rankings this Tour de France. It's a quick guide to which teams are excelling and which are unlucky or faring poorly. And yes, this first stage has thrown up some unexpected results!

1. Quick-Step Floors

Everything the Belgian squad touched turned to gold, or rather, yellow. They dominated the final kilometre, giving Gaviria a very nice leadout where he could launch to victory in the final 200 metres. 

They were ever-present on the front of the peloton throughout the stage and even managed to avoid the carnage towards the end of the race. Still have their potential GC guys right up the top of the classification as well.

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2. BORA-hansgrohe

Second on a stage which was supposed to be for the pure sprinters and Peter Sagan is off to a very nice start in his attempt to reclaim the green jersey. The leadout at the intermediate sprint didn't really work out but his teammates did a much better job in the finale, lining the race out in the final kilometres and allowing Sagan to go to work.

3. Katusha-Alpecin

Marcel Kittel came from a very long way back in the final sprint to finish third. It wasn't good news for the leadout, but very good news for Kittel, whose form has been spotty this season. 

The team did very little work on the front of the race, but they managed to keep their GC man, Ilhnur Zakarin, safe throughout all the chaos in the finale.

4. Fortuneo-Samsic

One stage and one jersey for one of the smallest squads in the race. Kevin Ledanois did his job for the day, he made the break then timed the sprint perfectly to take the King of the Mountains polka dots. 

This is likely the most we can expect from the French Pro Continental squad, though they kept Warren Barguil safe for whatever his plan is for the rest of the race.

5. UAE Team Emirates

Alexander Kristoff has been far from his best this season, but he managed fourth on the stage and didn't look too far off the pace if he can get in slightly better position to start the sprint. 

Dan Martin stayed safe, one of the few times the Irishman has actually enjoyed the 'luck of the Irish' in what has been an unlucky past few seasons for the top overall hope.

6. Wanty-Groupe Gobert

Wanty-Groupe Gobert will have little brief in this year's Tour beyond these simple instructions. Get in breaks, show the sponsors off and try to win stages, possibly claim the mountains jersey. 

The experienced Yoann Offredo was the man for Stage 1, he came away with the most aggressive rider award as a reward for a combative ride towards the end of the stage. 

7. Team Sunweb

Michael Matthews sprinted to seventh, but the better news for Sunweb was that Tom Dumoulin picked up valuable time on his rivals. 

Matthews will need better support in the coming stages if he's to improve his results, he had to close a few gaps in the final few kilometres without assistance and had little power left to sprint at the end.

8. Cofidis

A fifth-placed finish for Christophe Laporte after the French squad left Bouhanni at home will give the team bosses confidence in their selection of the 25-year-old as the main sprinter.

With the team opting not to try and get a man in the breakaway and no real GC contender, it's clear they'll be looking for their sprinter to deliver most of their results. 

9. Astana

Good day for Astana. They were very attentive at the front of the race when things got dangerous and consequently Jakob Fuglsang was the top finisher of the GC candidates. He may have been unlucky the commissaires didn't find some splits in the peloton behind him.

10. Lotto NL-Jumbo

All the crashes in the final kilometres played havoc with the leadout trains and Groenewegen was more affected than most, finding himself with nowhere to go in the final sprint and with little momentum. Still not a complete disaster, and his sixth place will be improved upon.

Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk just kept themselves in the front group and they should be some of the better placed contenders after the team time trial.

Stage 1 Winners
Julian ALAPHILIPPE
Julian
ALAPHILIPPE
Michael MATTHEWS
Michael
MATTHEWS
Primož ROGLIČ
Primož
ROGLIČ
Ide SCHELLING
Ide
SCHELLING

Tour Leaders
Julian ALAPHILIPPE
Julian
ALAPHILIPPE
Julian ALAPHILIPPE
Julian
ALAPHILIPPE
Ide SCHELLING
Ide
SCHELLING
Tadej POGAČAR
Tadej
POGAČAR
View Overall Standings

11. AG2R-La Mondiale

A sneaky little move from Oliver Naesen got the team some TV time and grabbed a bonus second for the former Belgian champion. Seemingly insignificant but it moves Naesen up to fourth on the general classification, which means the team car will be fourth in line.

That might seem like a waste of effort, but look at stage like today, it certainly was a big advantage for the teams that got to the crash sites first to tend to their riders. Bardet stayed safe and that's all this squad is aiming for this part of the Tour.

12. Trek-Segafredo

John Degenkolb found his way into eighth, but he was essentially the last of the sprinters who were actually in a position to go for the win from that front group. The gritty German hasn't been the same since a horrific training crash in early 2017, but maybe this will give him a bit of confidence for later in the race.

Bauke Mollema is their protected rider and they kept him under tight guard throughout, so they get a tick there.

13. Direct Energie

Made the breakaway, where Jerome Cousin played his customary role as the villain of the move, skipping turns at important stages of the race and then looking to capitalise on the efforts of his companions.

Their sprinter Thomas Boudat got up for 13th, and that's a good spot for them on this list currently.

14. Bahrain Merida

It's all about Vincenzo Nibali for Bahrain Merida and he had a good day. Taking 51 seconds on his biggest rivals is a massive advantage at this stage of the race and reminiscent of the headstart he got in the early stages of the 2014 Tour.

15. EF Education First-Drapac

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The biggest memory you'll have taken away of this team's stage performance is Lawson Craddock dripping blood and ploughing on regardless after a nasty crash. Hopefully he can continue tomorrow after finishing last on the road, just under eight minutes down. 

Rigoberto Uran finished safe in the front group, and the 51 seconds he gained on Froome is three seconds short of the disadvantage he ceded to the Briton in the entire Tour last year.

16. Movistar

Quintana was the casualty for Movistar, losing a minute and 12 seconds to be the biggest loser of the main GC guys on the first stage. Both of his wheels broke after he hit a traffic island and he had to sit by helplessly as neutral spares struggled to get him back on the road.

Regardless, this is the benefit of having a three-pronged approach, Landa and Valverde were both in the front group to the end and Movistar won't be as unhappy as they might have been.

17. Dimension Data

Dimension Data looked interested in bringing it to a sprint finish, but must have gotten lost in the carnage of the last ten kilometres. Not much to see here, Mark Cavendish will move onto the next stage.

Plenty of TV time for Jay Robert Thomson as he spent almost the entire stage rotating at the front of the peloton.

18. Lotto Soudal

As above, but Lotto Soudal were even more passive than Dimension Data and never made an impression on the race.

19. Team Sky

Chris Froome going down in a crash is obivously bad news for the defending champions. Losing 51 seconds at this stage of the race isn't insurmountable, but it was telling that Froome wasn't one of the ones driving the pace into the finish, suggesting he may have been affected by the fall. That might not bode well for the team time trial.

The stage also saw Egan Bernal lose a lot of time, with only Geraint Thomas left to maintain the team's GC push in the main group of favourites.

20. BMC

BMC had one job... to protect Richie Porte. Instead, he was two thirds of the way down the bunch as the roads narrowed and the pace picked up in the finale. 

The time loss isn't the end of the world and Porte doesn't appear to have any sort of injury, but it's more stress than the team would like at this stage of the race.

Interestingly, Tejay van Garderen stayed in the front group, maybe as a back-up plan. It at least suggests the American is in good form.

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21. Mitchelton-Scott

Yates is the protected man, and he lost time today. No saving grace either as Yates was the top-placed finisher in 84th. The team car will be right down at the back of the convoy and they'll have an early start in the team time trial.

The good news is Yates appears to be unhurt and there's still a long way to Paris.

22. Groupama- FDJ

Their main man is sprinter Arnaud Demare and the last we saw of the French fast man was him looking beaten up and soft-pedalling his way into the finish. It's going to be a long Tour for the team if Demare isn't going to be available to lead the line.