The Team Standing is a new classification in the Tour this year. From each stage the times of the best two ladies and two men from each team are added together. A trophy will be awarded to the team with the lowest time at the end of the Tour.
After five stages Norway leads the Team Standing by 1:51 ahead of Russia, with Finland in third place 5:10 behind. Italy had been in second place only 25 seconds Norway after the fourth stage, however the Italians lost massive amounts of time in the individual classic events on January 2 and are now in fourth place.
Interestingly Russia has had 12 different athletes contribute to their total team time, compared to 10 from Norway and only 6 from Finland, who only have two men participating in the Tour.
Realistically only Russia will be able to challenge Norway for the overall trophy. Both teams have good distance skiers and specialist sprinters, with the Norwegians slightly stronger in classic events compared to freestyle. A lot will depend on the Final Climb, where a lot of time can be won or lost.