Ag2r La Mondiale 4/10
The team’s star rider Romain Bardet ensured a horrible first two weeks, losing more and more time and tumbling out of overall contention. The Frenchman did however manage to bounce back with some aggressive climbing in the Alps, and was rewarded with victory in the mountains classification.
One of the team’s star riders, André Greipel, treated the Tour more as a ceremonial farewell than a race, but the other, Warren Barguil, was back to something like his best, attacking in the mountains and riding to 10th overall.
Jakob Fuglsang’s high hopes of targeting the yellow jersey went up in smoke, as he abandoned after a crash on stage 16 while ninth on GC. The team subsequently infiltrated many breakaways in an attempt to salvage something from the race, but came home empty handed.
Content to chase stage wins, the team successfully pulled off a couple courtesy of Dylan Teuns and Vincenzo Nibali from two great breakaway rides. Even a third stage win in the time trial was a strong possibility had world champion Rohan Dennis not abandoned the race in bizarre circumstances the day before.
Peter Sagan predictably won a record seventh green jersey title, plus a stage win. Less predictably, young German Emanuel Buchmann was one of the revelations of the race, riding stealthily and consistently throughout to finish fourth overall.
CCC Team 3/10
Greg Van Avermaet readjusted to riding the Tour for a smaller team by embarking on a doomed breakaway bid on stage one, and wore the polka-dot jersey for two days. Unsurprisingly, he was the team’s best performer with five top 10 finishes – and he kept trying until the very end with an attack on the Champs-Élysées – but the closest he came to a much-desired stage victory was third in the breakaway stage to Gap.
With Christope Laporte not on good sprinting form, the team were restricted into throwing everything at desperate breakaways. In this regard Stephane Rossetto left quite an impression, by getting into the break time and time again during the first week.
This Tour de France was all about Julian Alaphilippe, who won two stages and held the yellow jersey for a total of 14 days, capturing the imagination of a whole nation in the process. Fatigue in the Alps means he ultimately missed out on the podium, but fifth overall is still a fine achievement, especially considering how this is not a team built for GC bids. Elsewhere, Elia Viviani also won a sprint stage.
Dimension Data 1/10
Should Mark Cavendish have been selected? Despite all the controversy at the start of the race, it seems unlikely he’d have been fit enough to make an impression – but then again neither did his replacement sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo with one fourth and two seventh place finishes, nor anyone else on the team for that matter.
EF Education First 6/10
One by one the team’s GC hopefuls Tejay van Garderen, Michael Woods and Rigoberto Urán each fell out of overall contention. The likes of Woods and Michael Clarke went on to animate breakaways, and Urán finished a respectable seventh overall, but they didn’t take as much from this Tour as they’d have liked.
Sport can be so cruel. After riding a near-perfect race in support of their leader Thibaut Pinot, who looked all set to challenge for the yellow jersey after brilliantly winning on the Col du Tourmalet, the team’s race was left in tatters when Pinot was forced to abandon on stage 19 with an injury.
This year’s Tour didn’t follow Team Ineos’s usual pattern of gaining the yellow jersey early and defending it all the way to Paris, but it nevertheless culminated in the same outcome – overall victory. Egan Bernal left it until late, moving into the lead with just two days to spare following several attacks in the Alps, but still became the fourth Ineos rider to win the Tour de France, while Geraint Thomas rounded off another excellent Tour with second overall.
The ever-improving Jumbo-Visma enjoyed a sensational Tour on every front. They won the team time trial, three bunch sprints with three different riders (Dylan Groenewgen, Mike Tenessen and Wout van Aert), and still had the resources in the mountains to support Steven Kruijswijk to a podium finish.
Amid rumours that the team were set to fold at the end of the season, the riders did little to encourage any potential investors. They were rarely seen in breakaways, and lead-outs in sprint finishes were mostly in vain, although fifth in the team time trial was at least a pleasant surprise.
Not only did Lotto-Soudal animate the breakaways, with Thomas De Gendt winning from one in the first week and Tim Wellens holding the polka-dot jersey for most of the race; they were also ultimately the star team of the bunch sprints, with Caleb Ewen claiming an exceptional three stage wins on debut – including the big one on the Champs-Élysées.
Adam Yates’ foiled GC bid was more than compensated for by the team’s enviable knack for picking up stage wins from breakaways. On top of Simon Yates’ double success in the Alps, Daryl Impey and Matteo Trentin road smartly to win on hilly stages in the first and third week respectively, completing a huge haul of four stage wins.
At times their approach was baffling, with team-mates often seeming to race against each other, and their confused thinking was reflected by the fact that they placed three riders between sixth and ninth on the GC. That they won the team classification is a great irony, and evidence that the classification’s points system needs a re-think. But from a spectator’s point of view they sure did make the race exciting, and Nairo Quintana’s epic stage win on the first days in the Alps means they took something from the Tour.
Tom Dumoulin’s absence cast a shadow over their race, as the rest of the squad struggled to fill his shoes. Michael Matthews was consistent in the sprints but could neither win a stage nor get anywhere near Peter Sagan in the points classification, while youngster Lennard Kamna outperformed the anonymous Wilco Kelderman in the mountains with a couple of eye-catching top six finishes from breakaways.
Total Direct Energie 4/10
A quiet start to the race worsened when team leader Niki Terpstra abandoned on stage 11, and all the team could muster for the rest of the race were a few attacks from Lilian Calmejane – until Paris, where Niccolò Bonifazio was a surprise third place in the bunch sprint.
The team enjoyed fleeting moments of glory, most notably Giulio Ciccone’s couple of days in yellow, plus (for what it’s worth) an occasional lead in the team classification. They might have hoped for more from Richie Porte, who, although he didn’t crash out this time, finished a reasonable but unmemorable 11th overall.
UAE Team Emirates 3/10
Missing star sprinter Fernando Gaviria, the team failed to make an impact on the race. Dan Martin was unusually impotent in the mountains, Fabio Aru still isn’t his old self, and Alexander Kristoff faded after a promising second place on stage four’s sprint finish.
Wanty-Groupe Gobert 6/10
This was a good Tour for Wanty-Groupe Gobert, considering their wildcard status. Xandro Meurisse was one of the most eye-catching new riders at the race, finishing third on the stage to La Planche des Belles Filles, while Yoann Offredo was a constant presence in the breaks, and Guillaume Martin road to an impressive albeit largely unnoticed 12th overall.