Before I start, I'm actually a little fuzzy on the concept here. I guess this ranking combines who's having a good Tour with who the power teams are for the overall. This may need some more tinkering. Maybe it's just a chance to make up stuff about
ten eleven interesting teams...
1. CSC ↑
I'm not sure this week bodes well for their chances of bringing the yellow jersey to Paris, what with all the work they're doing and the cozy ride Carlos Sastre's main opponents are getting. But to the victors go some spoils, and Fabian Cancellara has been easily the story of the Tour so far. And anyway, CSC will probably dump the jersey tomorrow and get refocused, well ahead of the real work of the race.
2. Astana ↑
Andreas Klöden's astounding prologue was a clear indication of his form right now. Astana have Klödi, Vinokourov and Kashechkin all well positioned on GC, unscathed by the nasty business of the first week, and primed for Saturday. Sure, the uneasy alliance could come apart, but there's a chance they will dominate the last two weeks of the race.
3. Caisse d'Epargne ↓
A quiet week, but they drop down two places nonetheless for having lost Xavier Zandio, one of their climbing aces. They should be OK in the end, but then, this poll looks at who's doing stuff, and so far Cd'E have been nonexistent.
4. Discovery ↔
Looking as unlikely as ever to crack the big three. Losing Vaitkus won't hurt their plans in the mountains, and having the white jersey on the back of Vlad Gusev, their backup best young rider, is impressive. So too was Contador's prologue. But when Johan said openly that he was concerned about Levi's prologue performance, it laid bare the uneasy alliance of support Leipheimer enjoys. Fine so far, but could get ugly fast.
5. Rabobank ↔
Oscar Freire actually looks OK. Rabo haven't made much of a splash yet, but maybe that's a good thing. Uniting behind their GC guy and giving a pass to the first week isn't the worst option.
6. Predictor-Lotto ↔
Johan Van Summer Ale, the peloton's most refreshing rider, has earned a lot of credit for powering the peloton along. He's a big diesel. McEwen's chances don't look great, but Evans is floating along nicely, so we'll keep the Lotto boys in place.
7. Quick Step ↑
Might be their last appearance in the Power Poll, but they've made good on the first week, under trying circumstances. Stage 2's leadout was very good, and they've kept Boonen out of difficulty since. Plus Boonen got led out decently eough yesterday, before getting boxed in today. And speaking of Tommeke, his green jersey lead keeps growing. That's all they came here for.
8. Cofidis ↑
Your French team of note. Stéphane Augé has the spotty jersey, buttressed by Sylvain Chavanel's tactics today. Chavanel himself is up to 7th overall, just behind Bradley Wiggins. Nothing to complain about.
9. T-Mobile ↓
Rogers is still noncommittal about the condition of his knee. T-Mobile participates in every sprint, but Cavendish hasn't figured in the sprint even when he wasn't having horrible luck staying upright. And anyway, why are they featuring a 22-year-old kid when they have Bernhard Eisel around?
10. Francaise des Jeux? Agritubel? ↑
Struggled with this one... could go either way. Week one is all about French teams getting attention. Well, Seb Chavanel has figured in the sprints, Vaugrenard is third in the maillot blanc, and Ladagnous was a key figure in yesterday's break. But the same could be said of Agritubel, with Feillu in the sprints (except today) and various tourists in every break. Anyway, nothing spectacular to report, but they've both kept things interesting.