All 20 teams went into the Tour de France with great hopes. Some planned to win the Tour, others went for stage wins, and others were hoping merely to gain as much exposure as possible. How did they do? CSC-Saxo Bank and Columbia dominated the race in various ways, while other teams did little more than put in their daily kilometres. Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer takes a look back at the next ten teams' performances, in order of their start numbers.
AG2R La Mondiale
AG2R was the most successful of the French teams. Captain Cyril Dessel won the first big Alpine stage, stage 16 into Jausiers. He was part of a larger breakaway group which got away early, and in the end, after two HC climbs, he won a three-man sprint It was a tremendous comeback for the French rider who wore the yellow jersey briefly in 2006 but missed most of the 2007 season with toxoplasmosis. Dessel ended up being only the fourth best finisher on the team in 28th place, with Stéphane Goubert being 21st. But both were eclipsed in the overall by Tadej Valjavec in 10th and Vladimir Efimkin in 11th. That was enough to give the team the second place rank in the overall team rankings – at 15 minutes behind winner CSC, they were the only team closer than an hour to the Danish team.
Mark out of 10: 7/10
Things couldn't have gone better for the German team. Stefan Schumacher surprisingly won the first time trial and wore the leader's yellow jersey for two days. He attacked continually throughout the Tour and was frequently to be found ahead of the peloton, either in escape groups or alone. He topped it off by also winning the closing time trial, beating two-time World Champion Fabian Cancellara by 21 seconds. But the shaved-headed German wasn't the biggest success of the Tour for the team. That honour went to Bernhard Kohl. The Austrian went into the race with an eye on the GC, hoping to do better than his last year's 31st place. He succeeded beyond his dreams, standing on the podium in Paris as third overall. In addition, he held on to the polka-dot jersey of the King of the Mountains, which he held until the end, on the 15th stage – taking it over from team-mate Sebastian Lang, who had won it for three days. It was an outstanding Tour for the German team which has traditionally done poorly in the race. Now they are lacking only one thing: a sponsor for the coming years...