The Tour de France is the world’s premier race and the 2019 edition of the tour is currently underway. We can’t wait to see who wins the race and we can’t wait to see who wins the King of the Mountains. We also can’t wait to see who is the Best Young Rider of the 2019 Tour de France. But it’s not only individual awards that are handed out in France, but there is also a team award which is called the Team Classification.
The team classification is given to the best team in the Tour de France. Unlike the individual classifications were the leaders for each classification are supposed to wear a certain colored jersey, the team classification doesn’t have that. Instead, the numbers on the jerseys of the team with the best performance in the general classification at the end of the previous stage are printed against a yellow background instead of white for the rest of the field.
Unlike the Giro d’ Italia and the Vuelta a Espana where team classification awards have been handed out since the inception of the races, the award has been handed out in the Tour de France only starting in 1930 and the criteria for choosing the winner has changed over the years.
How Is the Winner Determined?
During the early editions of the Tour de France, the cyclists raced as individuals. Although they had their sponsors, they were not permitted to work in groups or teams because the race was intended to be a test of individual ability and strength. In 1930, team racing was introduced although during this time, cyclists were grouped by nations instead of sponsorship and it wasn’t only after 1969 when sponsored teams joined the Tour de France.
When the team classification was first introduced in 1930, the times of the top three cyclists in the general classification were added for every team. In 1961, the computation changed to a points system where one point was given to the best team-time during a particular stage. In 1963, they reverted to time computation but during the ’70s the point system was reintroduced in a different calculation. The cyclists were given corresponding points based on their finish. For example, the first placer got 1 and the second placer earned 2 points, etc. These points were then added and the team with the fewest points at the end of the race was the team classification winner.
Starting in 2011, the team classification was computed using the top three times per team per stage. During the time trial, the time of the 5th rider per team is the one recorded. If there are fewer than five riders on a team, the time of the last rider to finish for the teams are used. If a team has fewer than three riders left, that team is disqualified from team classification competition.
Here are the most recent winners of the Team Classification competition of the Tour de France:
- 2010 Team RadioShack
- 2011 Garmin-Cervelo
- 2012 RadioShack-Nissan
- 2013 Saxo-Tinkoff
- 2014 Ag2r-Mondiale
- 2015 Movistar Team
- 2016 Movistar Team
- 2017 Team Sky
- 2018 Movistar Team
After the completion of Stage 11 of the 2019 Tour de France, here is the current table for the Team Classification competition:
- Movistar 142:19:38
- Trek-Segafredo 1:30 behind
- Bora Hansgrohe 14:59
- Mitchelton-Scott 15:45
- Ag2r 18:56
- Groupama-FDJ 19:04
- Team Jumbo-Vista 19:14
- UAE-Team Emirates 23:33
- Team Ineos 25:53
- Team EF Education First 32:46
|Team EF Education||+8000|
|UAE Team Emirates||+8000|
|Team Total Direct Energie||+75000|
Predicting the winner of the team classification is one of the hardest calls to make in the Tour de France, especially at the midway stage where it’s still anybody’s yellow jersey to take. But when you take a look at the recent runs of the Tour de France, Movistar has been the most solid team, taking three out of the last four years’ team classification title.
Movistar is the current team leaders after stage 11 even though Mike Landa lost two minutes when he crashed on Stage 10. While Movistar was lucky not to have lost too much time because of that mishap, their rivals are closing in. However, with still many mountain stages which could suit them well, they are a good pick to win it again this year. Movistar has worked well as a team during the first half of the race, and we saw them work well during stage 10 when they were all at the front before Landa’s crash. The time trials are coming up and if Movistar plays their cards right and not lose too much time there, they are in a very good position to win again this year. Prediction: Movistar