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 first ten teams' performances, in order of their start numbers.
The Belgian team was hoping to win the Tour with Australian Cadel Evans, but a weak team wasn't able to provide enough support for him in the mountains, and his nerves apparently let him down in the stage 20 time trial, when he had the opportunity to make up the 1'34 on leader Carlos Sastre. Still, he managed to repeat his second place from 2007, which is nothing to be ashamed of. He had planned on the help of Yaroslav Popovych in the mountains, but the Ukranian proved he wasn't up to the task, losing nearly 16 minutes on the 10th stage run up to Hautacam. Silence-Lotto's other iron in the fire, sprinter Robbie McEwen, had to get along without any helpers in the sprint, and it showed. The little Australian managed only two top ten finishes, coming in second in the 13th stage and fourth in the final stage. Overall it's hard to see their Tour as a success. If Cadel had taken yellow and had his Lotto team led the bunch into Paris on Sunday, it would have been the first time we'd seen them on the front of the bunch. That says it all really.
Mark out of ten: 6/10
Two stage wins, the best young rider, winning the team's classification, six days in the yellow jersey and the overall winner, nearly everything went right for the Danish team. Kurt-Asle Arvesen kicking things off with a surprise win in the 11th stage Fränk Schleck took over the yellow jersey after the 15th stage but only held on to it for two days, handing it over to team-mate Carlos Sastre, who blasted his way up L'Alpe d'Huez in a day which many conceded to be a stunning example of Bjarne Riis' master tactics. The Spaniard held on to the jersey and turned in an exceptionally strong time trial to arrive in Paris in yellow. Andy Schleck won the best young rider jersey, and CSC-Saxo Bank was one of only three teams to arrive in Paris with a complete nine-man squad. On the negative side Fränk Schleck turned in a remarkably weak closing time trial, and escape artist Jens Voigt didn't do his breakaway tricks this year. With key riders like Sastre still without a contract for next year, the only question is whether they can keep their strongest riders together.
Read all about the first ten teams.
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