The Tour de France team competition is a bit of a mystery for Twisted Spoke. It’s determined by taking the best time of each team’s top three finishers in every stage. People get excited about this competition and Garmin-Cervelo was proud to win it this year.
Still, as a relative newcomer to the sport, we tend to look at it with questions. For example, if HTC-Highroad wins six stages in the tour, almost one third of the total, how can they finish at the bottom of the competition — 21st out of 22nd? Having an entire team capable of dominating almost every flat stage in the tour would seem to be solid proof that the HTC-Highroad team is indeed near the top.
A second thing we notice is that the little French team Saur-Sojasun finished ahead of Astana, Lampre and Omega Pharma. Again, we are relatively unsophisticated about the intricacies and meaning of the team competition but it seems strange that those teams were beaten by Saur-Sojasun. We understand that perhaps riders were working for Vinokourov (until he crashed) and Cunego and Philippe Gilbert and in doing so, didn’t have the freedom to ride for a higher placing. Still, weird.
The Movistar squad finished dead last in the team competition yet had their rider Jose Joaquin Rojas in the hunt for the green jersey until Paris. That would seem to indicate some team strength.
Our congratulations to Garmin-Cervelo on winning the team competition. We’re just a little fuzzy on what it all means.