• Two kings of the mountain, plus Teuns and Ciccone. (Getty)Source: Getty
The first mountain stage hasn't seen anything confirmed in the battle for the general classification, but we are certainly seeing a pecking order established and who won't be competing for the top step of the podium in Paris.
SBS Cycling Central

12 Jul 2019 - 11:58 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 6 - La Planche des Belles Filles did not disappoint

Christophe Mallet and David McKenzie analyse the entrails of a pulsating Stage 6 which finished on La Planche des Belles Filles, giving the race its first real look at the shape of the overall contenders.

Teuns fights for win as Ciccone claims yellow on first mountain stage
Bahrain Merida's Dylan Teuns pulled clear from the last of his breakaway companions, Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) on the ruthless gradients of La Planche des Belles Filles, emerging a first-time Tour stage winner, with Ciccone moving into the yellow jersey.

1. Jumbo-Visma (same)

It's hard to believe that George Bennett was sitting on the front of the peloton for most of the first stage, given his performances on the climbs so far at the Tour, out-performing team-mate and nominated leader Steven Kruijswijk.

Bennett finished at the back of the main group of favourites, while Kruijswijk was tailed off on the steep section in the final few hundred metres and wouldn't have benefited from a sit in any case. Maybe Bennett becomes leader on the road? 

Best Results: Mike Teunissen 1st- Stage 1, Yellow Jersey 2 stages; Wout van Aert 2nd- Stage 5; George Bennett 4th overall; 1st- Stage 2 Team Time Trial

2. Deceuninck-Quickstep (same)

Alaphilippe was a powerhouse in defending yellow. The French star absolutely emptied himself attacking to try and retain his lead but he used just a bit too much energy attacking on the gravel and couldn't maintain his momentum on the 25 per cent section. 

A memorable reign in yellow, and Alaphilippe will look to return to the race lead on either Stage 8 or 9. Both stages have the new 'Bonus Points' which allow riders to pick up some bonus seconds before the finish, with eight, five and two seconds available for the first three across the line.

Enric Mas wasn't with the top riders, he got tailed off as the pace accelerated and lost 33 seconds to Thomas by stage's end. Still in with a shout though.

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

3. BORA-hansgrohe (same)

Emanuel Buchmann was very solid when the GC contenders squared off at the finish and looks set to convert his early season form in one week tours into a good Tour de France showing. Could be the breakout GC performer this year.

Best Results: Peter Sagan 1st- Stage 5, 2nd- Stage 1, Green Jersey 4 days; Emanuel Buchmann 12th overall

4. Soudal Lotto (same)

Another good day on the front foot for Lotto Soudal, attacking the KOM points classification with the 1-2 punch of Thomas de Gendt and Tim Wellens. Wellens will be disappointed that he couldn't hang on to contest the finish, but they are showing themselves as one of the teams that is most enjoyable to watch at the race.

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

5. Bahrain Merida (up eight positions) 

Dylan Teuns exploded onto the WorldTour as a youngster and looked to be the next big classics star, but he spent the next few years progressing slowly into being a strong climber. Sixth overall at the Dauphine in the lead up t the race, hopefully Teuns can continue to kick on after this breakthrough.

The news wasn't so good for Nibali, conceding almost a minute to Thomas once the pace was upped near the end. This should force a reassessment for the Italian, but he's lost early time in past Grand Tours without his push for overall failing.

Best Results: Dylan Teuns 1st- Stage 6, 3rd overall; Vincenzo Nibali 20th overall

6. Team Ineos (same)

Geraint Thomas stamped on his doubters with a shining performance on the first climb of the Tour, attacking the other contenders to put time into all his major rivals. It's nothing huge at this stage with significant climbing and time-trialling still to come, but Ineos will be very happy.

Egan Bernal was less successful on a stage that many expected him to win, but he was fine and finished in the group of Fuglsang, Porte and Landa. He's still able to act as that dual threat with Thomas and there's plenty of time to tune up his legs for the Pyrenees. 

Best Results: Geraint Thomas 4th - Stage 6, 5th overall; Egan Bernal- 6th overall; 2nd- Stage 2 Team Time Trial

7. Trek-Segafredo (up eight positions)

Ciccone battled for the polka dot jersey, then backed it up on the final climb. He lasted until exploding behind the pace of Teuns, but hung on and managed to pluck the yellow jersey from Alaphlippe's unwilling shoulders. The 24-year-old Italian is fresh off a stage win and 16th overall at the Giro d'Italia and could make his stint in yellow last for quite a few stages. 

He will need to be wary however, as Alaphilippe lurks just six seconds down and will be eyeing up Stages 8 and 9 as an opportunity to take the maillot jaune back. 

Best Results: Giulio Ciccone 2nd- Stage 6, 1 day in yellow; Jasper Stuyven 3rd- Stage 3

8. Wanty Groupe Gobert (up four positions)

They've been the most aggressive team at the race in terms of being represented in the breakaway and also got a result atop Les Planche des Belles Filles as Xandro Meurisse showed that his impressive demonstrations so far this Tour are no fluke and that he's here to compete. 

A previous Power Rankings picked him as one to watch for the intermediate stages in a breakaway but his result on Stage 6 was beyond all expectations. 

Best Results: Xandro Meurisse 3rd- Stage 6

9. Team Sunweb (down four positions)

Not much doing for Sunweb on this stage, without Dumoulin they lack the top quality climbers to compete with the best guys and Nikias Arndt wasn't doing much more than making up the numbers in the 14-man break. 

Kelderman confirmed that he won't be any sort of GC threat this year as he lost over 17 minutes.

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

10. Groupama-FDJ (up six positions)

Thibaut Pinot and David Gaudu on the final climb looked in fine touch as the young Frenchman took up the pursuit of the Mikel Landa and essentially brought him back. Pinot left his run a little late, but he was absolutely storming home in the final few hundred metres and was one of the few that looked to have some strength left in his legs at the finish line.

Best Results: Thibaut Pinot 7th overall

11. CCC (down four places)

CCC continued their front-foot performances with another appearance in the breakaway, the perennial mountain man Serge Pauwels. There's no better place for the Belgian than a mountain breakaway, but his age might be catching up with at 35 as he wasn't a factor in the KOM fight or the finale like you would expect.

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

12. EF Education First (down four positions)

EF Education First didn't uproot any trees with their Stage 6 showing, but they were solid. Rigoberto Uran and Michael Woods finished side-by-side 18 seconds behind Thomas and still well within contact of the defending champion. 

While Uran came in as the announced leader, there's no reason that Woods shouldn't be co-leader or the top man in his own right after some strong form during the rest of the year.

Best Results: Michael Woods 9th overall; Rigoberto Uran 10th overall

13. UAE Team Emirates (down four positions)

A pass mark for Dan Martin, but he would have hoped to be better on a stage that looked to suit his characteristics on paper. Fabio Aru dropped off early and it looks like Martin will largely have to ply a lone trail for most of the journeys through the mountains. 

Best Results: Alexander Kristoff 2nd- Stage 4

14. Mitchelton-Scott (down three positions)

The Australian squad let Adam Yates do his own thing on the final climb, a sound strategy given the nature of the steep and unrelenting nature of the ascent where team-mate help is less crucial and the fact that other teams would do the work required to minimise disadvantages. Simon Yates and Jack Haig will get called to the fore later in the race.

Team leader Yates looked pretty attentive throughout the stage, but didn't quite have the extra effort in his legs in the finale and conceded 14 seconds to Thomas.

Best Results: Adam Yates 14th overall; Matteo Trentin 3rd- Stage 5

15. Astana (up five positions)

Astana are throwing all their weight behind Fuglsang's push for yellow, a fact that is growing increasingly more clear every day they don't go into the break with riders like Fraile, Sanchez, Bilbao, Izagirre and Lutsenko all more than capable of taking wins on these types of stages.

Good day for Fuglsang, still within striking distance of Thomas if he can harness his earlier season form.

Best Results: Jakob Fuglsang 11th overall

16. Movistar (up five positions)

Movistar asserted themselves upon the race, chasing the break for most of the day and then driving the pace on the final climb. They even recruited Alejandro Valverde to the cause, though he didn't kill himself like a true super domestique would. It might have made Mikel Landa's attack more effective if he had eliminated some of the Ineos riders and David Gaudu.

As it was, Landa's attack, while impressive, was brought back and the Spaniard had to settle for losing a bit of time. Nairo Quintana looked good as he responded to Thomas' attack, not quite matching the Briton, but he was good for this stage of the race.

Best Results: Nairo Quintana 16th overall; Mikel Landa 17th overall

17. Cofidis (down three positions)

Natnael Berhane represented the colours for Cofidis in the break. Jesus Herrada won't be a force in the GC after losing big time, but that's probably a good thing that will free him up for stage hunting or a KOM focus.

18. Dimension Data (down eight positions)

Dimension Data had their ranking slightly artificially raised by some promising showings, and were always in line for a drop once the GC teams came out to play.

Best Results: Giacomo Nizzolo 4th- Stage 1

19. Katusha-Alpecin (down two positions)

Nils Pollitt was the man for the break today, an odd choice given that they've got a number of accomplished climbers within the team.

Bevin: TDU stage winner first to abandon Le Tour
Injuries from a pair of early-race crashes too much to overcome for New Zealand's Patrick Bevin at this year's Tour de France.
Thomas gains on rivals atop La Planche des Belles Filles
Defending Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas fires the first volley across the bow of fellow general classification contenders with well-timed attack on arduous Stage 6 summit finish.

20. Team Arkea-Samsic (down one position)

Andre Greipel took the interesting step of putting himself in the early breakaway, but didn't even win the intermediate sprint.

Warren Barguil tried an a short-lived attack that never really gained much traction on the Planche des Belles Filles. Good that he's thinking about attacking aggressively, but it's clear he doesn't have the level necessary to take on the top climbers and he should look elsewhere to make an impact at this year's race.  

21. Total Direct Energie (down three positions)

Present in the breakaway but didn't manage to do much in way of a result or even getting much exposure or interest given it was a 14-man move.

They have been very quiet this Tour, and haven't done justice to the quality of their squad.

22. AG2R-La Mondiale (same)

Romain Bardet was the big loser of the stage, conceding a minute and nine seconds to Thomas and he is now ruled out of competing for yellow in Paris, as he now sits two minutes and 53 seconds down on GC. 

AG2R need a new plan, one they should unveil in the next few stages that should suit their rouleurs quite well.

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.