• There's light at the end of the tunnel... only a few more days to Paris (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Tear gas, crashes, risky descending and attacking on the climbs - Stage 16 to Bagnères-de-Luchon had it all! A few movers and shakers on the rankings, but there's some real potential for movement in the bottom half if those sorry teams can string together a few good performances.
By
Cycling Central

25 Jul 2018 - 10:31 AM  UPDATED 25 Jul 2018 - 10:37 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 - Pepper spray on the peloton, and Alaphilippe's panache

Stage 16 of the Tour de France, with a pepper spray incident and a win by Alaphilippe

Alaphilippe wins an eventful Tour stage
Stage 16 of the Tour de France featured a protest, spectacular crashes and dynamic racing which ended with a swashbuckling win by Julian Alaphilippe.

1. Team Sky (no change)

Team Sky will be very happy with finish to Stage 16, you can bet that Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome weren't looking forward to having to risk their Tour by racing down the steep descent to Bagnères-de-Luchon. The squad kept the race contained up the final climb and never had to get out of third gear.

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

2. Quick-Step Floors (up one position)

A dramatic win for Julian Alaphilippe, launching from the chasing group and plummeting down the descent to put enough pressure on Adam Yates that the British rider faltered on a corner and fell. Alaphilippe swept by on his way to victory, it would likely have been a win for the Belgian even if Yates hadn't have fallen with the rate he was going across the gap.

Philippe Gilbert came a cropper, dramatically crashing while on the attack and disappearing down a ravine. He finished the race, presumably on pure adrenaline as he had blood coating his left leg and was diagnosed after the stage with a broken kneecap. He won't start Stage 17, joining Tim 'El Tractor' DeClerq who pulled out with illness.

They move up the Power Rankings on the back of the performance of Alaphilippe, they might even take the top spot, depending on how things work out in the final stages.

Best Results: 1st (Stages 1,4), 2nd (Stage 7), 1 day in Yellow - Fernando Gaviria, 1st (Stage 10, 16), 2nd (Stage 14), KOM jersey - Julian Alaphilippe, 3rd (Stage 5) - Philippe Gilbert , 3rd (Stage 9) - Yves Lampaert, 13th GC - Bob Jungels, 3rd Team Time Trial.

Alaphilippe's got descending talent

3. BORA-hansgrohe (down one position)

The battle for the breakaway saw Austrian Gregor Muhlberger make the split, with the climber doing a creditable job to finish eighth on the stage.

Peter Sagan has mathematically secured his green jersey win, he just needs to make the finish in Paris to claim his sixth maillot vert. 

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

Sagan just needs to finish for record-equalling green jersey
Peter Sagan didn't claim a single point on Stage 16, but with the race getting closer to Paris he is now assured of matching Erik Zabel's record if he can make the finish in Paris.

4. LottoNL-Jumbo (no change)

Robert Gesink was an attacker on the final climb, trying to anticipate the eventual surge of Yates, but he didn't have enough power to get away or follow when Yates eventually went. Still it was a sixth place finish and their GC leaders are sitting in the same position.

Best Results: 1st (Stages 7+8) - Dylan Groenewegen, 4th GC - Primoz Roglic, 7th GC - Steven Kruijswijk

5. Team Sunweb (no change)

No change on GC. Team Sunweb are one of the teams that need to put a bit of pressure on tomorrow, but they don't really have the squad available to put pressure on Sky. Soren Kragh Andersen is the strongest in terms of climbing support but he's unlikely to eat into Sky's climbing reserves.

Best Results: 2nd (Stages 11,12), 3rd GC - Tom Dumoulin 

6. Astana (no change)

Michael Valgren tried to make it three from three but the final climb was a bit too much for the Dane. It's telling that you see the same teams up the pointy end day after day, there's a reason that they are up the top of these rankings, it's not just random chance.

Best Result: 1st (Stage 14) - Omar Fraile, 1st (Stage 15) Magnus Cort Nielsen, 9th GC - Jakob Fuglsang 

7. Movistar (up one position)

Movistar seemingly chased for little reason on Stage 16, but they are technically in a 'battle' for the teams classification with Bahrain Merida. It's likely that they'll win it regardless as the race hits the Pyrenees, but there was some reason to the madness. Nobody really cares about the teams classification though.

Best Results: 3rd (Stage 6), 11th GC - Alejandro Valverde, 6th GC - Mikel Landa, 8th GC- Nairo Quintana 

8. Bahrain Merida (up three positions)

The team have recovered superbly from the loss of Vincenzo Nibali, with their climbers mobilising to take a string of impressive results. 

They just can't quite crack it for that stage victory, but for picking themselves up and delivering some fun performances, they move their way up the rankings.

Best Results: 2nd (Stages 2+5) - Sonny Colbrelli, 2nd (Stages 10+15) - Ion Izagirre, 2nd (Stage 16) - Gorka Izagirre

9. BMC (down two positions)

As Greg van Avermaet's yellow jersey days fade into memory, so do BMC drift down the standings. They'll always be somewhere in the top half with their team time trial win though.

The American squad would have been very happy that they got Damiano Caruso, Greg van Avermaet and Tejay van Garderen in the break, but only it was only Caruso that showed the ability to fight on towards the end and even he wasn't particularly close.

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

10. UAE Team Emirates (down one position)

Not a day for this squad, they'll be hoping that Dan Martin can pull off another win in the mountains.

Best Results: 1st (Stage 6), 10th GC - Dan Martin, 2nd (Stage 13) - Alexander Kristoff

11. Trek-Segafredo (down one position)

Another good stage for Bauke Mollema, but he doesn't quite have the explosion required on the climbs to go with the best mountain goats at the moment. Fourth was another decent result for Trek-Segafredo, but they would have been hoping for more from Mollema before the race.  

Best Results: 1st (Stage 9) - John Degenkolb, 3rd (Stage 14) - Jasper Stuyven, 3rd (Stage 15) Bauke Mollema, 5 days in KOM jersey - Tom Skuijns

12. AG2R-La Mondiale (no change)

No action today from Bardet. He's another one that we will expect big things from in the Pyrenees. Not that he hasn't been attacking already, he just hasn't quite had the legs.

Pierre Latour is fighting a one-on-one battle for the white jersey with Guillame Martin of Wanty-Groupe Gobert. with the two marking each other throughout the race. That skirmish will likely be decided in the Pyrenees.

Best Results: 2nd (Stage 6), 13th GC, White Jersey - Pierre Latour, 5th GC - Romain Bardet

13. Mitchelton-Scott (no change)

Adam Yates made a big play for the stage win, shooting away up the Col de Portillon to take a convincing lead over the summit. He came unstuck on the descent as Alaphilippe piled on the pressure from behind, it's unclear whether he would have stayed away in any case.

Yates was bruised and battered, but with nothing permanent debilitating it was the loss of the stage and pride that hurt more than the injuries.

Best Results: 5th - Team Time Trial, 3rd (Stage 16) Adam Yates

14. Direct Energie (no change)

A quiet day for the French squad, but there isn't a great deal of pressure from the teams below to unseat them from the position in the rankings after an active showing during the early stages and into the second week.

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

15. Groupama- FDJ (no change)

Near disaster for Groupama-FDJ as Arnaud Demare dropped off the back of the peloton and was only just able to slip his way under the time cut. His team even pushed their riders forward so they wouldn't be caught out alongside their team leader. 

He'll have a hard time of it tomorrow and seems unlikely to make it to Paris, where he would be one of the favourites to take a sprint win on the Champs Elysees.

Best Result: 3rd (Stages 2,13) - Arnaud Demare

16. Cofidis (no change)

It was a strong presence in the breakaway for the team with Daniel Navarro, Nicholas Edet and Christophe Laporte, but none made it to the pointy end of the race.

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

17. Katusha-Alpecin (no change)

Credit to the Russian squad, they did try a little move off the front of the race for Ilnur Zakarin on the Col de Portillon. It didn't work, but neither did it see much energy expended and it could have proved an easy way to gain a bit of time on GC rivals.

Best Results: 3rd - Marcel Kittel - Stage 1, 13th GC Ilnur Zakarin

18. Wanty-Groupe Gobert (up one position)

Guillame Martin's ding-dong battle with Pierre Latour is seeing both riders rise up the standings. Martin is up to 14th and the young Frenchman is getting most of the Belgian squad's attention at the expense of stage-hunting.

Best Results: 3 days in KOM jersey - Dion Smith, 14th GC - Guillame Martin

19. Lotto Soudal (up one position)

Jelle Vanendert 13th on the stage and that's the sort of race it has been for the team once Andre Greipel and Tiesj Benoot left.

Best Result: 3rd - Andre Greipel - Stage 4

20. Fortuneo-Samsic (down two positions)

A bad day for the French squad as Warren Barguil dropped before getting the chance to score some more points to catch up to Alaphilippe. He'll have to take a lot of the remaining points on offer, and hope that Alaphilippe cracks if he wants to win the polka dots again.

Best Result: 1 day in KOM jersey - Kevan Ledanois 

21. Dimension Data (no change)

They tried to get something going with three riders in the break, but it was another stage of disappointment for the African team.

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

22. EF Education First-Drapac (no change)

Not moving off the bottom until there's some sort of performance worth mentioning in their 'best result' column.

Best Result: N/A

The Tour de France continues with Stage 17 in the Pyrenees. A short,spectacular stage set to be run with a new grid system start.

Coverage of Stage 17 will start from 10.35 pm (AEST) on SBS HD, also avaliable on the SKODA Tour Tracker App and via live web streaming on SBS Cycling Central.