The Deceuninck-Quickstep squad is heating up properly now, two in a row with the potential of many to come!
By
SBS Cycling Central

10 Jul 2019 - 11:12 AM  UPDATED 10 Jul 2019 - 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. 

To keep an eye on how each team is progressing, Cycling Central is running the Zwift 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 SBS Cycling Podcast: Stage 4 - An Italian story in Nancy

Stage 4 of the 2019 Tour de France, it's an Italian story in Nancy.

Viviani gets his maiden Tour victory after textbook leadout
On Stage 4 of the Tour de France, Deceuninck-Quick-Step ensured Elia Viviani's first Tour de France victory would no longer elude him, delivering the Italian perfectly over the finish line. More to come.

1. Jumbo-Visma (same)

There was a bit of a disconnect within Jumbo-Visma at the end of the stage, Wout van Aert dragged Mike Teunissen up to the front with a massive surge with two kilometres left, but Groenewegen was nowhere near what is supposed to be his leadout train. The team leader and the former yellow jersey-wearer sprinted from opposite sides of the road, taking fifth and sixth after coming from a long way back, rather than combining their efforts to take a run at the win.

Still retain top spot by virtue of the TTT win showcasing their ability in a straight team versus team battle, but Deceuninck-Quickstep are breathing down their necks. 

Best Results: Mike Teunissen 1st- Stage 1, Yellow Jersey 2 stages; 1st- Stage 2 Team Time Trial

Inauspicious start for Groenewegen at Le Tour
Jumbo-Visma sprint train fails to fire on Stage 4, leaving Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen chasing from behind for a fifth-place result in Nancy.

2. Deceuninck-Quickstep (same)

A near-perfect leadout for Viviani, with the yellow jersey playing a key role in getting the squad to the front with Morkov and Richeze still to go. They have the best train in the Tour and delivered Viviani superbly, even down to way that Richeze swung off with 200 metres to go, allowing Viviani the perfect barriers run and blocking Ewan in as much as possible without breaking the rules.

We've seen it all many times before and it won't be the only win Viviani claims this Tour as long as the team avoids misadventure. 

Best Results: Julian Alaphilippe 1st- Stage 3, Yellow Jersey 2 stages; Elia Viviani 1st- Stage 4; 3rd- Stage 2 Team Time Trial

3. Soudal Lotto (up one position)

Yes, now it's Soudal Lotto. Because they're outside Belgium. Blergh, pointless sponsor nonsense. Sure they tip the money that keeps the sport afloat, but silly changes like this make people disengage.

Caleb Ewan was delivered up to the wheel of Viviani nicely delivered by Roger Kluge, but given that Viviani only had to sprint from the 180 metre mark and had Ewan a bit boxed-in when Richeze dropped off. Ewan definitely has the form to win, but he's at a significant disadvantage with his leadout and will need a sprint run to suit if he's going to break through. 

Best Results: Caleb Ewan 3rd- Stage 1+4, Tim Wellens Mountains Jersey 2 days

4. BORA-hansgrohe (up one position)

The Peter Sagan run of improbably consistently high stage finishes continues. He always handles his positioning with amazing instincts and strength, so it was a surprise to see him lose the battle for Viviani's wheel. Jasper Philipsen gave him a few buffets, which slowed both up and allowed Ewan to grab the critical wheel.

Nonethless, what might have been stage over for over for other turned into fourth for Sagan as he jumped on the back of Kristoff and came from behind with pace to end up fourth. 

Best Results: Peter Sagan 2nd- Stage 1, Green Jersey 2 days

5. Team Sunweb (down two positions)

Stages like these illustrate why it's going to be so hard for Matthews to win the green jersey. A leadout from around 25 riders back with 1.5 kms to go involved Cees Bol absolutely thrashing himself to drag Matthews into contention with 700 metres left. It was probably too much leg-sapping surge for Matthews at that stage of the race.

The Australian was subsequently swamped by the faster men and got cut off a few times in the battle for sprinting lines. A ninth-placed finish means he concedes 12 points on the stage to Sagan in the battle for green.

Best Results: Michael Matthews 2nd- Stage 3; 4th- Stage 2 Team Time Trial

6. Team Ineos (same)

Team Ineos are behaving like the leading team already, putting Bernal and Thomas at the front of the peloton up until the three-kilometre mark when the sprinters' teams take over.

Best Results: 2nd- Stage 2 Team Time Trial

7. CCC (same)

There wasn't much on offer on paper before the stage for CCC, but they manufactured some interest with a strong ride from Michael Schar.

Best Results: Greg van Avermaet- 4th Stage 3, Mountains Jersey 2 stages

8. Wanty Groupe Gobert (up one position)

An enterprising move from the Belgian squad saw them getting double the exposure at the front of the race and making the stage go a bit quicker from a viewer's perspective.

9. Dimension Data (down one position)

It was a strong performance by Dimension Data, but fundamentally misapplied. The team did a very good gob getting Giacomo Nizzolo into position, the plan seemed to be get him into a good spot then let Edvald Boasson Hagen hammer it as far as possible to deny other teams the chance to move up. 

However, Nizzolo got washed away from the front and Boasson Hagen's pace-making actually hurt the chance of the Italian. He came from a mile back, had to move all the way across to find a line to take and still managed to finish seventh. He looks likely for a stage win at some stage if they can get it right.

Best Results: Giacomo Nizzolo 4th- Stage 1

10. EF Education First (up one position)

They've benefited from some shuffling around in the rankings rather than doing something particularly good in the stage.

11. UAE Team Emirates (up nine positions)

Is this the big return to form for Alexander Kristoff in a pure sprint? Jasper Philipsen was superb for Kristoff in the stage and got a verbal pat on the back from the big Norwegian after the stage for the way he fought for his team leader before the sprint launched.

The 21-year-old sprinter and converted leadout man has the potential to be one of the revelations of the Tour with the way he is traveling at the moment. 

12. Cofidis (down two positions)

No presence in the breakaway. 

Christophe Laporte doesn't have much of an ability to position himself against these top sprinters, and despite finding himself in near perfect position with 700 metres to go, found himself constantly being pushed further and further back.

13. Mitchelton-Scott (down one position)

The Trentin free-role continues to be there and thereabouts for the Australian squad, if he pops up for the win it's a bonus, and it's not really compromising the team's support of Adam Yates. 

14. Bahrain Merida (down one position) 

Colbrelli, Mohoric and Cortina were never on the same page in the final kilometre.

15. Groupama-FDJ (down one position)

A sit in the pack and do very little day for Groupama-FDJ. Arguably a bit low in the rankings and should expect them to be bumped up after Stage 6.

16. Trek-Segafredo (down one position)

Jasper Stuyven appears to have been given the 'Matteo Trentin role' and while he's having more luck with it than Trentin is, the team's GC bid is not going as well.  

Best Results: Jasper Stuyven 3rd- Stage 3

17. Total Direct Energie (down one position)

Did absolutely nothing this stage, and were only lucky that only one team behind them accomplished anything of note.

18. Team Arkea-Samsic (down one position)

The Greipel experiment isn't going anywhere at the moment, the big German needs a sprint train to function at peak efficiency and he's having to sprint from behind in messy situations currently.

19. Katusha-Alpecin (down one position)

Nothing to report.

20. Astana (down one position)

Expect Astana to have a good go at Stage 5. Medium mountains have been where the team has shone this year and they have a squad that will be licking their lips at the prospect of this parcours.

21. Movistar (same)

Quintana to sign for Arkea-Samsic! Well at least according to the rumours floating around the peloton and internet at the moment. 

Other than that, nothing doing.

22. AG2R-La Mondiale (same)

The most attention they grabbed during the stage was for Tony Gallopin's crash onto his already injured elbow.

Tour Tracker LIVE: Tour de France Stage 21
Live coverage of the Tour de France 2019 Stage 21: Monday 27 July from 1:55am AEST in the ŠKODA Tour Tracker and SBS OnDemand and SBS from 3am AEST.