• Riders recline on the startline as they wait for the start of Stage 6 (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The first test of the top contenders' climbing legs at the 2018 edition of the Tour de France... which teams fared the best?
Cycling Central

13 Jul 2018 - 9:43 AM  UPDATED 13 Jul 2018 - 11:02 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 run a Power Rankings during this Tour de France. It's a quick guide from stage to stage of which teams are excelling and which are unlucky or faring poorly. 

Sagan a green monster on Tour fifth stage
Stage 5 of the Tour de France was tailor-made for a rider like Peter Sagan and the BORA-hansgrohe superstar did not disappoint his fans with a grinding victory to extend his green jersey lead.

1. Quick-Step Floors (no change)

Another strong showing by the team, splitting the peloton to pieces in the crosswinds and generally being very proactive in controlling the race.

This was a relatively poor stage for Quick-Step Floors... which tells you a lot about how well their Tour has been going to date. Julian Alaphilippe really wanted to win this stage and take the Yellow Jersey, but it was not to be. He was maybe a bit too aggressive early on the final climb and spent a bit too much energy. He did manage to relax with a beer before doping control. 

Best Results: 1st (Stages 1+4) Fernando Gaviria, 3rd - Philippe Gilbert - Stage 5, 3rd Team Time Trial, 1 day in Yellow.

2. BORA-hansgrohe (no change)

Sagan was thereabouts on the Mur de Bretagne, it was maybe just a touch too steep for him and took the power out of his legs when the attacks went and for the sprint.
Rafal Majka took up the slack and produced a very nice performance of his own, finishing fifth. BORA-hansgrohe are very much Sagan's team, but it's worth noting that Majka has won three Tour stages and the KOM jersey in the past. He's shaping as a dangerous rider for the mountains.

Best Results: 1st (Stages 2+5), 2nd (Stages 1+4), 1 day in Yellow, Green Jersey - Peter Sagan

3. BMC (no change)

BMC sat back a bit this stage and let Quick-Step Floors take the responsibility for marshaling the chase. This saved them a bit of energy after working hard the previous day and in the next few stages they should find some allies in the sprinters' teams. 

They have a nice prize in currently holding the maillot jaune and a very strong contender for wearing it when everything is said and done in Richie Porte. The Australian looked strong on the climb into the finish and his efforts dropped a number of pre-race favourites.  

Best Result: 1st - Team Time Trial, Yellow Jersey - Greg van Avermaet, 3rd GC - Tejay van Garderen

4. Team Sky (no change)

There were slight signs of weakness from Chris Froome as he dropped off the front group and lost eight seconds to stage winner Dan Martin. On the other hand, Geraint Thomas looked very good as he followed moves at the pointy end of the Mur de Bretagne and moved himself up to 2nd overall. 

Thomas is the highest placed true contender for the Yellow Jersey at the moment and will likely hold that distinction through to the first rest day.

Best Results: 2nd - Team Time Trial, 3rd GC - Geraint Thomas, 14th GC - Chris Froome

5. Bahrain Merida (no change)

The stage was a bit too hard for Colbrelli, which showcases just how impressive Sagan's versatility is. Bahrain Merida kept Vincenzo Nibali in good position on the charge into the climb, the Italian is maintaining a handy position in the fight for yellow.

Best Results: 2nd (Stages 2+5) - Sonny Colbrelli, 17th GC - Vincenzo Nibali

6. UAE Team Emirates (up nine positions)

Dan Martin reversed a long run of second place stage finishes in Grand Tours with the win atop Mur de Bretagne (seven runner-up finishes since his last Grand Tour stage win at the Tour de France in 2013). A very strong attack left the peloton looking flat-footed as Martin surged past on his bold push for stage glory.

Martin is still a fair way back on the General Classification after the team's poor TTT on Stage 3, but he clearly has the legs to change that situation.

Best Result: 1st (Stage 6), 21st GC - Dan Martin 

7. Mitchelton-Scott (down one position)

It was an... interesting move from Jack Bauer over the top of the Mur de Bretagne on the first ascent of the climb. It was always going to be a near-impossible task to out-ride a peloton full of teams keen to get their GC stars into the bottom of the climb first. He got a 30-second gap, but that wasn't nearly enough and he was gobbled back up by the four kilometre to go mark. 

Not that the move compromised Mitchelton-Scott's plans, Yates was delivered in good position and proceeded to do a very strong ride, always one of the first to respond to moves.

Best Results: 5th - Team Time Trial, 13th GC - Adam Yates

8. Trek-Segafredo (up two positions)

The stint in the KOM jersey continues for Tom Skuijns after circumstances with the breakaway conspired to give him a charmed run at the points on the highest scoring climb of the day. He'll keep the jersey for a few more days yet.

Bauke Mollema was in the front group in the first test for the climbers, he mostly just followed wheels but it still shows the book-reading Dutchman has some decent form.

Best Results: KOM jersey - Tom Skuijns, 19th GC - Bauke Mollema

9. Movistar (up two positions)

A sprint to the line from Alejandro Valverde netted him third on the stage for the second day in a row and reminded the peloton that there's still plenty of life in the 38-year-old. Mikel Landa and Nairo Quintana also maintained their GC bids as they finished in the front group as well.

They did miss a trick earlier in the stage, with Quintana one of those caught out when Quick-Step Floors split the race to pieces. The team did bring Quintana back fairly quickly however, which neutralised the danger.

Best Result: 3rd (Stage 6) - Alejandro Valverde 

10. Wanty-Groupe Gobert (down three positions)

The Belgian squad is proving to be more than a novelty at the Tour, they have been very active and quite successful so far this race. 

Dion Smith put up a valiant fight to hold off the peloton before the final KOM point that would have secured his return to the polka dot jersey, but he just fell short. 

Regardless, the team has been the source of a lot of action in the race, though they will be disappointed with the showing of their star climber Guillame Martin.

Best Results: 3 days in KOM jersey - Dion Smith

11. EF Education First-Drapac (down two positions)

A time loss for Rigoberto Uran as he didn't quite have the legs to go with the fast accelerations on the final climb. His team continue to do a good job for the Colombian, he was in a good position going into the climb and wasn't inconvenienced by the crosswind splits in the peloton.

Best Results: 7th GC - Rigoberto Uran

All for Uran and Uran for all
Quick thinking and rusted on loyalty ensured Rigoberto Uran lost no time in the crash that marred the stage 4 finale, but not the morale of Team Argyle.

12. Team Sunweb (down four postions)

A somewhat unavoidable time loss as Tom Dumoulin broke a wheel as the race was thundering towards the finale. He got a wheel off Simon Geschke and got back in the hunt to return to the front. His team pulled out all the stops to get him back on, including almost giving up young rider's jersey of Soren Kragh Andersen by calling the Dane back to help pace Dumoulin.

Unfortunately, the team support was considered a bit too enthusiastic by the race jury, with Dumoulin being penalised a further 20 seconds by the race jury for drafting behind his team car.

Best Results: 7th (Stage 1) - Michael Matthews, 15th GC - Tom Dumoulin 

13. Astana (down one position)

Jakob Fuglsang was lucky when he had his first bit of bad luck for the Tour, crashing into a field with 25 kilometres left. Good work by the team, they were attentive to the problem, quickly pacing the Dane back on before the first ascent of Mur de Bretagne. 

He then repaid the effort by placing in the front group on the Mur de Bretagne. 

Best Result: 9th (Stage 1) - Jakob Fuglsang - Stage 1

14. AG2R-La Mondiale (up six positions)

This was a weird one, as it was simultaneously a good and a bad day for the AG2R La Mondiale squad. A late mechanical for Bardet saw a quick bike change which allowed him to make contact with the peloton before the final climb, but he was way out of his position and on the back of a big effort just to catch-up faltered badly on the climb, conceding 31 seconds.

On the other hand, Pierre Latour did a sterling ride to finish 2nd on the stage, so they get to move up the rankings. It's unlikely to be a positive stage for their long-term hopes however. 

Best Result: 2nd (Stage 6) - Pierre Latour, 23rd GC - Romain Bardet

15. Katusha-Alpecin (down two positions)

Ilnur Zakarin wasn't very convincing as he ground up the climb to finish in the second group, 12 seconds adrift of the stage winner. He wasn't positioned particularly well going into the early slopes, which may have affected his ride.

Best Result: 3rd - Marcel Kittel - Stage 1, 25th GC Ilnur Zakarin

16. Groupama- FDJ (down two positions)

Not a stage that played to the strengths of the FDJ squad.

Rudy Molard is going for the title of 'unluckiest rider in the Tour', the Frenchman has crashed three times already this race.

Best Result: 3rd - Arnaud Demare - Stage 2

17. Lotto Soudal (down one position)

Losing Tiesj Benoot means that they don't really have a rider for these sort of stages. Jelle Vanendert might be an option after a good showing during the Ardennes classics, but he was 32nd on the stage.

Best Result: 3rd - Andre Greipel - Stage 4

Late crash leaves contenders scrambling
A crash with five kilometres to go in Stage 4 of the Tour de France sent shockwaves through the peloton with riders scrambling to regain the front of the race.

18. Direct Energie (down one position)

Another active performance from the team in the breakaway. They're doing more than filling out the numbers in the race, they've been one of it's chief animators, but that hasn't resulted in anything tangible as of yet.

Best Result: 12th - Lilian Calmejane - Stage 4

19. Lotto NL-Jumbo (down one position)

The Dutch squad were badly caught out by the crosswinds, with Primoz Roglic the only major contender caught in the third group on the road. The team dropped back all its riders except Kruijswijk and Janssen and took up the chase but they were losing significant ground until the general classification teams stopped applying the pace.

They were lucky that Movistar were able to bring back Quintana to the main group, as while the other general classification teams were helping Quick-Step Floors, Roglic were losing a lot of time. As it is, he finished right up in the front group on the stage and will be happy to have dodged a bullet. 

Best Result: 4th - Dylan Groenewegen - Stage 4, 18th GC - Primoz Roglic, 20th GC - Steven Kruisjwijk

20. Cofidis (down one position)

Anthony Turgis made the break but little impression beyond that. It's hard to see how the squad will make much impact on the race unless Daniel Navarro can fire in the mountains.

Best Result: 5th - Christophe Laporte - Stage 1

21. Fortuneo-Samsic (no change)

The race finish was a bit too explosive for Warren Barguil and if he's not going to be the one to take results for the French squad they're going to have a hard time. 

Best Result: 1 day in KOM jersey - Kevan Ledanois 

22. Dimension Data (no change)

Dimension Data keep on trying really hard to create something. They even had Mark Cavendish helping out with the pace-making at one stage to get Tom-Jelte Slagter into the perfect positon. He was delivered right to the front of the race at the base of the Mur, but wasn't able to capitalise on the team performance, finishing 29th.

Best Result: 19th (Stage 1) - Edvald Boasson Hagen 

The Tour so far: six things we know after six stages
It has been an intriguing, hard-fought and chaotic start to the 2018 edition of the Tour de France. We look at the key takeaways from the opening six stages.
Porte flying as other contenders falter in first test
It was far from a conclusive stage for the general classification riders, but the ascent of the Mûr-de-Bretagne revealed the first glimpse of who is the strongest on the climbs at this year's race.
Zwift Cycling Central Podcast - Tour de France 2018 - Dan Martin winning on instinct

Stage 6 of the Tour de France 2018 featured a great win by Dan Martin on top of Mur-De-Bretagne, and we meet some Aussies on tour.

Martin wins Mûr-de-Bretagne as climbers flex their muscles
Dan Martin was the rider with the legs to win atop the short, sharp finish to Mûr-de-Bretagne on Stage 6 of the Tour de France.