The Alpe d'Huez stage didn't disappoint as Steven Kruijswijk nearly pulled off a performance for the ages. From a Power Rankings perspective it was the elimination of many of the sprinters that will have the longest ongoing effect.
By
Cycling Central

20 Jul 2018 - 9:52 AM  UPDATED 20 Jul 2018 - 10:14 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. 

Zwift Cycling Central Podcast - Tour de France 2018 - We walk up Alpe D'huez

Stage 12 of the Tour de France and Christophe and Macca decided to walk to Alpe D'Huez with the fans .. and take you on the journey.

Adventurous Kruijswijk thwarted as Thomas doubles on Alpe d'Huez
Team Sky's Geraint Thomas defended his yellow jersey with a victory on the 175.5km stage from Bourg-Saint-Maurice ending up on the iconic Alpe d’Huez, to extend his overall lead.

1. Team Sky (no change)

It looked like Team Sky had missed a trick in the early stages of Stage 12, with the dangerous Steven Kruijswijk slipping away up the road in a large group and put himself in the virtual lead on the road. He had a maximum gap of up to six minutes, but then the Team Sky train kicked in and dragged the Dutchman back.

A superb spell on the front by Egan Bernal was the biggest factor in the chase on the final climb, with Geraint Thomas showing just how strong he is with his second consecutive stage win. 

Thomas continues to maintain that Froome is the main man, but if Thomas can avoid one of the 'bad days' that has plagued his Grand Tour attempts in the past, there's no reason he won't be on the top step come Paris. 

Best Results: 2nd - Team Time Trial, 1st (Stages 11,12), Yellow Jersey Geraint Thomas, 3rd (Stage 11) 2nd GC - Chris Froome

2. BORA-hansgrohe (no change)

Peter Sagan could go without claiming a point from here to the Champs Elysees and still be assured of taking the green jersey. 

The world champion is in a very good position after the succession of stages in the Alps forced the abandon of most of the pure sprinters. Now he only has to contend with the likes of Arnaud Demare, John Degenkolb, Christophe Laporte and Alexander Kristoff for stage wins on the flat.

Best Results: 1st (Stages 2+5), 2nd (Stages 1,4,8), 3rd (Stage 7), 1 day in Yellow, Green Jersey - Peter Sagan, 13th GC - Rafal Majka.

3. Quick-Step Floors (no change)

With another showing in the break to claim the early mountains points, Julian Alaphilippe has bought himself a few more days in the polka dots. His lead is narrowing at the top of the standings is narrowing, down to just 14 points over last year's KOM winner Warren Barguil.

Bob Jungels is hanging at 13th on the GC, and, barring a bad day, he looks likely to be able to hold at least 14th to Paris, with a big drop-off of six minutes to 15th position on GC.

Fernando Gaviria abandoned mid-race, so it'll be a rare chance for Max Richeze to have a sprint. He wasn't a prolific winner when he used to sprint, he's a better leadout rider, but he is in career-best form. 

Best Results: 1st (Stages 1+4), 2nd (Stage 7), 1 day in Yellow - Fernando Gaviria, 1st (Stage 10), KOM jersey - Julian Alaphilippe, 3rd (Stage 5) - Philippe Gilbert , 3rd (Stage 9) - Yves Lampaert, 13th GC - Bob Jungels, 3rd Team Time Trial.

4. LottoNL-Jumbo (no change)

A very attacking move from Steven Kruijswijk, going into the break early in the race, then riding solo for nearly 70 kilometres to try and stay away to the finish. His Herculean efforts went unrewarded as Team Sky dragged him back, and he ended up losing a bit of time on the stage. He bemoaned the lack of cooperation from Movistar, and well he might as they made it easier for Sky to avoid putting more effort into the chase earlier.

Roglic stayed safe, losing a handful of seconds to Thomas and co, but the big loss was Dylan Groenenewegen who abandoned mid-race. They don't really have a back-up sprinter, so they might look to populate breakaways, or just protect their leaders on the flat.

Best Results: 1st (Stages 7+8) - Dylan Groenewegen, 5th GC - Primoz Roglic, 8th GC - Steven Kruijswijk

5. Team Sunweb (no change)

He looked strong during the final, and it's clear that Tom Dumoulin is shaping as the main competition for Team Sky in the coming stages. 

He was bitterly disappointed to not have won the stage, just missing out on following Thomas at the end. He did take second however, and is nearly up to Froome on the overall.

Best Results: 2nd (Stage 11), 3rd GC - Tom Dumoulin 

6. BMC (no change)

BMC will have to pick the right mountains stage to get Damiano Caruso or Tejay van Garderen into the early move.

Stage 13 will be a good day for the likes of Paddy Bevin or Stefan Kung to try their luck from the breakaway.

Best Results: 1st - Team Time Trial, 2nd (Stage 10), 8 days in Yellow Jersey - Greg van Avermaet

7. Movistar (up three positions)

They had Valverde up the road early on, but Movistar weren't intent on significantly contributing to Kruijswijk's aggression. Perhaps Valverde was gun-shy from the day previous, or they were worried about the Dutch rider getting too far ahead on GC, but they weren't a big help in the attack.

Instead it was Marc Soler who did a big turn on the Croix de la Fer to help bring the move back a bit... curious tactics from the Spanish team. 

Landa looks like their main man for the climbs, Quintana tried a few short-lived attacks but Landa is recovering well from his early crashes.

Best Results: 3rd (Stage 6), 12th GC - Alejandro Valverde, 7th GC - Mikel Landa, 9th GC- Nairo Quintana 

8. UAE Team Emirates (no change)

A poor stage for Dan Martin, coupled with his early time losses, means that the Irishman has lost his slim hopes of fighting for the Yellow Jersey as he's now over five minutes behind Thomas and three and a half behind Froome. He should be allowed more freedom to pursue stage victories, probably not from an early break unless he loses more time, but he won't be tightly marked.

Good news for Alexander Kristoff, many of his sprint rivals have been dropped from the race and the big Norwegian will be one of the favourites to take a win in their absence.

Best Results: 1st (Stage 6), 10th GC - Dan Martin 

9. Trek-Segafredo (no change)

It looks like Bauke Mollema is in recovery mode for the moment, maybe he'll emerge in later mountains stages, but he isn't having an effect on racing at the moment.

John Degenkolb is another sprinter who'll be licking his lips now that the majority of the fast men have been sent home. He'll also have one of the better leadouts at his disposal.

Best Results: 1st (Stage 9) John Degenkolb, 5 days in KOM jersey - Tom Skuijns

10. AG2R-La Mondiale (up one position)

Romain Bardet has been looking good at the end of stages, but it has yet to pay off, with all of his attacks being neutralised. As Team Sky gets more tired and exposed during the Tour, one of these attacks should eventually pay off for the French GC hopeful.

Best Results: 2nd (Stage 6) - Pierre Latour, 6th GC - Romain Bardet

Crowd behaviour a concern on Alpe d'Huez
The crowd on the Alpe d'Huez is always one of the most iconic images of the Tour de France, but there were several negative examples of crowd interaction during Stage 12.

11. Mitchelton-Scott (down three positions)

Mikel Nieve got himself into the breakaway again, but didn't opt to, or couldn't, follow the move of Kruijswijk when he went. The Spaniard is now in a better GC position than Adam Yates, but 15th isn't what the squad came to achieve and he's unlikely to move up as hes six minutes down on 14th.

Yates, Nieve and Howson will regroup for the later mountains, expect to see Luke Durbridge or Jack Bauer in the early move if they're not keen on sprinting with Daryl Impey.

Best Results: 5th - Team Time Trial, 15th GC - Mikel Nieve

12. Bahrain Merida (down five positions)

Disaster struck Bahrain Merida late on Stage 12, with Vincenzo Nibali appearing to get hooked by a fan's strap in the final four kilometres. He jumped back on and closed down the gap to finish just a few seconds behind, but it was later revealed that he fractured one of his vertebrae and he will not start tomorrow as a result. 

Awful news for the squad, who were focused entirely around the Italian, but they are better equipped to switch to a stage-hunting role than most with the likes of the Izagirre brothers and Domenico Pozzovivo all proven winners.

Best Results: 2nd (Stages 2+5) - Sonny Colbrelli, 2nd (Stage 10) - Ion Izagirre

Nibali out of Tour with fracture after crash with spectator
In the final kilometres, just as the race was in its last throes before the finish, the broadcast cameras came across Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) prostrate on the road next to his bike.

13. Astana (no change)

It was a better day than previous finishes for the Danish climber, but 11th is a pretty anonymous spot on GC. The squad will need some more results outside that to meet expectations.

That has been made harder by hard man Dmitry Gruzdev finishing outside the time cut and having to abandon the race.

Best Result: 11th GC - Jakob Fuglsang 

14. Direct Energie (no change)

Rein Taaramae was another victim of the time cut, with the climber eliminated from the race. That will limit Direct Energie's options in the mountains, but Stage 13 will offer them a good chance to try their luck on the flat.

Best Result: 3rd (Stage 10) - Rein Taaramae

15. Katusha-Alpecin (up three positions)

Ilnur Zakarin has arrested his slide down the rankings and is unlikely to drop lower than his current spot in 14th, unless he blows up in one of the remaining stages.

Marcel Kittel was joined in the ranks of the abandoned riders by leadout man Rick Zabel and the squad will have to look to breakaways from here.

Best Results: 3rd - Marcel Kittel - Stage 1, 14th GC Ilnur Zakarin

16. Cofidis (no change)

Exciting times for Christophe Laporte as he'll get one of the best chances at a Tour de France stage win that he's likely to ever see in the remaining flat stages to Paris.

Best Results: 5th (Stages 1+7) Christophe Laporte

17. Wanty-Groupe Gobert (no change)

It's getting to be an interesting battle for the white young rider's jersey. Guillame Martin was in a dogfight with Pierre Latour, the current wearer of white, while the other major contender, took time on both without even meaning to!

Stage 13 will be an interesting one for the Belgian squad, will they try and stack the breakaway or back their sprinter Andrea Pasqualon in?

Best Results: 3 days in KOM jersey - Dion Smith

18. Groupama- FDJ (up one position)

It's a gift for Arnaud Demare. With the abandon of many of the fast men, he goes from fifth fastest in the race to probably about tied for first with Sagan and Kristoff. His FDJ will likely have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders to keep the breakaway in check.

That could be a hard task, with many teams needing to try their luck from the early move.

Demare tweeted afterwards, "When you get almost as many messages from your friends as if you had won! 😱"I'm on time!" Long live the Alpe!"

Best Result: 3rd - Arnaud Demare - Stage 2

19. Fortuneo-Samsic (up one position)

Warren Barguil's march up the KOM standings continues. He clearly has his eyes set on reproducing his win in the classification from last season and the team is built around getting him there.

Best Result: 1 day in KOM jersey - Kevan Ledanois 

20. Lotto Soudal (down five positions)

No Andre Greipel, and it's hard to see where Lotto Soudal go from here. 

Best Result: 3rd - Andre Greipel - Stage 4

21. Dimension Data (no change)

Serge Pauwels is continuing his getting in the breakaway and picking up KOM points trick, but he appears out-matched by Barguil and Alaphilippe, who now both lead him on points. 

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg will be a name to follow for Stage 13.

Best Result: 5th (Stage 10) - Serge Pauwels 

22. EF Education First-Drapac (no change)

With Rigoberto Uran abandoning the race before the start of the stage, EF Education First-Drapac have lost their standard bearer. Now it's about picking up the pieces.

Sep Vanmarcke might be the man for a breakaway raid on Stage 13.

Best Result: N/A