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Tour de France team classification odds

Tour de France 2018 - team classification

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Tour de France - Team classification

The team classification is one of the secondary classifications in the Tour de France, given to the best team in the race. It has been awarded since 1930, however the method of victory has changed throughout the years.

Before the classification began, cyclists entered the Tour de France as individuals and were not allowed to work as a team. Today, working as a team is a critical strategy for those aiming to win the overall general classification.

The team classification winner’s have no special jersey to wear, but the numbers on the jerseys of the team members in the winning team get their numbers put against a yellow background, instead of white.

While the team classification is considered secondary to the individual general classification, a strong performance may help a team qualify for the next year’s Tour de France. However, it’s rare a team (particularly the strong teams) starts with the main objective being winning the team classification - although this may change if they are in a good position to win it during the race. For example, Lance Armstrong instructed his team in 2010 to focus on winning the team classification after his hopes of winning the general classification were dashed.

As of 2011, the winning team is decided by the combined times of the best three riders of a team per stage. Time bonuses and penalties do not count towards the team classification. In a team time trial stage, the time given to the team is that of the fifth rider to cross the finish line, or the last rider if there are fewer than five riders remaining.

Last year, Team Sky took home the honour, combined with Team Sky rider Chris Froome winning the general classification. Team Sky will hope to win the team and general classification double once more, but face tough competition from Movistar Team, who won the classification in 2015 and 2016. Movistar additionally have three potential general classification riders in Mikel Landa, Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana.

Team Astana and BMC Racing (led by Richie Porte) will hope to be up in the mix, and local support will hope for a strong showing from French team AG2R La Mondiale (led by Romain Bardet).