Jayco-AlUla end tough Tour week on high

The Jayco-AlUla heirarchy celebrated at Mt Lofty like they had just won the Tour Down Under.

Given the tumultuous week they had endured, Simon Yates' stage win and his second place overall was rich enough reward for their hard yards.

Yates outsprinted Australian Jay Vine to win Sunday's stage in the Adelaide Hills. It meant the British rider finished 11 seconds behind Vine, who won the Santos tour on debut.

As team director Mat Hayman noted, Jayco-AlUla don't race the Tour Down Under for second place.

The only Australian-based team in the World Tour takes great pride in performing at the only WorldTour stage race in their home country.

But much went wrong over the past week.

First, rain during Tuesday's twilight prologue cruelled Michael Matthews' hopes of winning.

Then Chris Harper crashed out of Monday's first stage.

Matthews was on the verge of claiming the overall lead during stage two, but a controversial clash of bikes with American Magnus Sheffield meant he had to stop and he lost two minutes.

Yates gamely picked up the team leadership, but the strength of Vines' UAE Team Emirates squad and his 15-second overall lead heading into the last stage meant the British star was always at long odds to snare the title.

"The boys deserved that win today. Everyone was riding well and without the bad luck of Michael Matthews ... it's nice to get a win like that," Hayman said.

"Hats off to Jay for his win, he rode a really calculated race.

"We were going after the (overall) win and it's a bit of a consolation, but I think we can be happy.

"Plan B became plan A and we clawed our way back to second (overall) and win a stage. We salvaged a fair bit, what could have been dramatically catastrophic for us."

Yates, the 2018 Vuelta a Espana champion, said winning the stage and claiming second overall was the best he could do, given his fitness this early in the season.

Matthews also won the points classification.

"We came to the Tour Down Under with a lot of ambition ... we put a lot into it," Yates said.

"We can be really happy with the stage (win) ... we have something now for all our work."