Team Jayco AlUla wrapped up a Tour de France full of close calls and near misses with a third-place finish for Dylan Groenewegen in the sprint finale in Paris and 17 top-10 finishes.

The Dutch fast man went close to making it a fairy tale end to a brutal three weeks of racing across France, but had to settle for the third step on the podium in a tight photo finish on the Champs-Élysées.
Hat-trick of seconds
Everybody wants to win a Tour de France stage, but it is certainly no easy feat. The squad came close on three different occasions, with the victory agonisingly close each time. To get the ball rolling early on, Simon Yates showed everyone his form on the opening stage with a memorable two up sprint battle against his twin brother Adam. 
The team also went all in for the fast finishes and Groenewegen went close on stage 11 as he led things out in a rapid bunch sprint in Moulins, only to be pipped to the line by eventual green jersey winner Jasper Philipsen.
Yates then made it a trio of close second places for the team after a tense and thrilling battle over the top of the gruelling Col de la Loze. The 30-year-old gave it his all to chase down the solo leader Felix Gall in the stage 17 finale but fell just short after a brave and attacking ride.
Consistency throughout
The diverse team showed incredible consistency throughout the three-week race with x17 top-10 finishes, a real sign of commitment from the eight-man squad across every stage and terrain.
Lawson Craddock’s heroics in the stage 15 breakaway were rewarded with a strong fourth place finish at the top of Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc, while Luka Mezgec and Chris Harper each racked up top-10 finishes after selfless work for their teammates.
Top four
After losing time in an unfortunate crash in the opening week of the race, Yates bounced back to sit sixth overall on the first rest day. Two tough stages at the end of week two saw the British climber drop down the general classification, but he once again showed the team’s spirit and determination in the final week of action.
The 2018 Vuelta a España winner delivered an impressive time trial performance on stage 16 before attacking the final stages to climb his way back up the rankings and into fourth overall with all-in ride on the penultimate day of racing.
Simon Yates (4th Overall)
“Not just today, but I think we can proud of ourselves, we really went after a lot of stages this year and personally for myself, fourth overall, I’m quite pleased with that, and also I have no real regrets, so I think we have to be happy.

This is the first Grand Tour in a while that I’ve not had any injuries or sickness or bad luck, so I’m very happy. It’s been a tough period like that to deal with, but finally I’ve managed to come through it and had a ‘normal’ Grand Tour, and a ‘normal’ me and I’m very happy.”
Dylan Groenewegen
“The Champs-Élysées is always beautiful and it’s even more beautiful when you win, so when you come so close, it’s a bit disappointing. In the end it was not the victory that we came for, but we had a really nice Tour, we did a good GC with Yates and had some good results.

I think the results say something, we were really close, in the end we just missed a victory, but that’s also sprinting, that’s also racing. But we had a good Tour, with a nice group and we will continue.”
Brent Copeland – General Manager
“I think the effort that the boys put in for the whole three weeks, that was impressive. I think that shows the determination, it shows the spirit of this team and shows what culture we have and that makes us proud.

I think they deserve more than second places and fourth places, but we are very proud and it’s been a great Tour de France.”
Top-5 placings:
Stage 1 – 2nd place – Simon Yates
Stage 17 – 2nd place – Simon Yates
Stage 11 – 2nd place – Dylan Groenewegen
Stage 8 – 4th place – Dylan Groenewegen
Stage 15 – 4th place – Lawson Craddock
Stage 7 – 5th place – Dylan Groenewegen
Stage 16 – 5th place – Simon Yates
Stage 17 – 2nd place – Simon Yates 
Stage 20 – 4th place – Simon Yates 
Stage 21 – 3rd place – Dylan Groenewegen  
Top-10 placings
Stage 3 – 8th place – Dylan Groenewegen
Stage 4 – 8th place – Luka Mezgec
Stage 6 – 8th place – Simon Yates
Stage 14 – 9th place – Simon Yates
Stage 13 – 9th place – Simon Yates
Stage 17 – 7th place – Chris Harper
Stage 19 – 7th place – Luka Mezgec