Simon Yates won stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday, crossing the Budapest finish line of the 9.2km time trial 3 seconds faster than Mathieu van der Poel, who retained the overall lead, while Tom Dumoulin was third.
You can rewatch STAGE 2 HERE
Van der Poel retains the lead in the overall standings by 11 seconds from Yates while the 2017 champion Dumoulin is third at 16s after the inner-city run, the second of three stages in Hungary before a switch to Italy.
The circuit, with its tight bends and varying surfaces and gradients, made the stage a test of bike-handling skills, although the forecast rain held off.
“We have worked hard on the time-trial bike and wanted to go as fast as possible here,” Yates said.
This was Yates’ fifth stage win on the Giro.
“We’ll celebrate this tonight but it’s a tiny section of the Giro, with all those mountains coming up,” he said.
Yates led the Giro for almost two weeks in 2018 before a late meltdown and has promised to be more patient this time round.
Van der Poel was rueful of his narrow miss of a second stage win in two days following his triumph at the Visegrad Citadel Friday.
“I would have loved to win, the difference between winning and second is very close, isn’t it?” said the Alpecin-Fenix rider who wore the Tour de France yellow, as race leader, for six days last year.
Richard Carapaz came 19th at 28s, while Romain Bardet was 17th at 24s.
Sunday’s stage, the last of the Hungarian trio, is a flat 201km race from Kaposvar to Balatonfured.
The Giro then goes home to Italy where stage 4 takes the peloton up the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna on the Island of Sicily of for the first meaningful skirmish between the overall contenders.