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Tour de France: How Team Sky, Movistar and the other teams targeting victory compare

Team Sky and race leader Chris Froome in action during Stage 7 of the 2016 Dauphine Libere

Individual performances ultimately win and lose the Tour de France, but the help a rider receives from his team-mates also has a crucial influence.

Here, we size up support teams behind the five favourites for overall victory at this year's race…

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Tour de France preview

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Line-up: Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve, Sergio Henao, Wout Poels, Ian Stannard, Luke Rowe, Vasil Kiryienka.

Chris Froome, Team Sky, Tour de France 2016

Team leader: Chris Froome.

Chief domestique: Geraint Thomas.

Support in the mountains: Team Sky have sent one of the strongest climbing teams in Tour history to this year's race. Landa, Thomas, Poels, Henao and Nieve are all so good going uphill that they would probably be leaders in any other team. Froome's support in the mountains will therefore be second to none.

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Support on flat and rolling stages: As well as supreme climbers, Froome will be backed on the flat by three of the most powerful riders in the sport in Stannard, Rowe and Kiryienka. Stannard finished third at Paris-Roubaix this year, Rowe finished fifth at the Tour of Flanders and Kiryienka is the current world time trial champion.

Overall rating: 9/10.


Line-up: Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, Winner Anacona, Imanol Erviti, Jesus Herrada, Gorka Izagirre, Ion Izagirre, Daniel Moreno, Nelson Oliveira.

Nairo Quintana (R) leads his Movistar team at the Tour de France

Team leader: Nairo Quintana.

Chief domestique: Alejandro Valverde.

Support in the mountains: Quintana's climbing support is not quite of the standard of Team Sky, but it is still very strong. Valverde is a leader in his own right, while Moreno, Anacona, Herrada and the Izagirres are all outstanding climbers.

Support on flat and rolling stages: Quintana has two powerful riders to shepherd him through the flat days in Erviti, who finished in the top 10 of both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix this year, and time-trial specialist Oliveira. Strong, but not as powerful as Team Sky's trio.

Overall rating: 8/10.


Line-up: Alberto Contador, Peter Sagan, Maciej Bodnar, Oscar Gatto, Robert Kiserlovski, Roman Kreuziger, Rafal Majka, Matteo Tosatto, Michael Valgren.

Peter Sagan, Alberto Contador, Tinkoff, Tour de France 2016

Team leader: Alberto Contador.

Chief domestique: Rafal Majka.

Support in the mountains: Contador's mountain support lacks the depth of Team Sky and Movistar's squads, with just Majka, Kreuziger and Kiserlovski capable of dictating the tempo on climbs. All three are quality riders, though.

Support on flat and rolling stages: Although thin on support uphill, Contador should have plenty of protection on the flat through Bodnar, Tosatto, Valgren and also Sagan, when the world champion isn't pursuing his own interests.

Overall rating: 7/10.


Line-up: Richie Porte, Tejay van Garderen, Brent Bookwalter, Marcus Burghardt, Damiano Caruso, Rohan Dennis, Amael Moinard, Michael Schar, Greg Van Avermaet.

Richie Porte, BMC Racing, Tour de France 2016

Team leader: Richie Porte or Tejay van Garderen.

Chief domestique: Richie Porte or Tejay van Garderen.

Support in the mountains: Having two leaders should be a benefit to BMC given that one will end up supporting the other once a hierarchy is established later in the race. Beyond Porte and Van Garderen, however, BMC could struggle uphill. Bookwalter, Caruso and Dennis are decent climbers but not on the level of Landa, Valverde or Majka.

Support on flat and rolling stages: Similar to Tinkoff, BMC should be strong on the flat, with Burghardt, Moinard, Schar and Van Avermaet all powerful riders.

Overall rating: 6/10.


Line-up: Fabio Aru, Vincenzo Nibali, Jakob Fuglsang, Andriy Grivko, Tanel Kangert, Alexey Lutsenko, Diego Rosa, Luis Leon Sanchez, Paolo Tiralongo.

Astana, Tour de France 2016

Team leader: Fabio Aru.

Chief domestique: Vincenzo Nibali.

Support in the mountains: Aru has mountain support of the highest calibre in four-time grand tour winner Nibali, although it remains to be seen what Nibali's fitness is like given he hasn't raced since clinching the Giro d'Italia title in May. Fuglsang and Kangert are also excellent mountain domestiques, while Rosa, Tiralongo and Sanchez will be able to contribute as well.

Support on flat and rolling stages: Grivko and Lutsenko are both strong riders on the flat, while Sanchez and Tiralongo will also be useful. Not perfect but not bad either.

Overall rating: 8/10.

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