Simon Yates wins Giro d'Italia stage two time trial in Budapest

Mathieu van der Poel holds onto pink jersey for second day

Simon Yates
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Simon Yates produced one of the time trials of his career to surge to victory on stage two of the Giro d'Italia in Budapest.

The BikeExchange-Jayco rider beat race leader Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) by just three seconds to take the win, but could not prevent the Dutchman from holding onto his pink jersey.

Yates now trails Van der Poel by 11 seconds as the race heads into its third day. Behind, Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) looked to be back to close to his best form in the time trial, finishing in third, five seconds behind Yates.

Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), João Almeida (UAE-Team Emirates) and Romain Bardet (Team DSM) were among the general classification hopefuls to lose time on the time trial.

Yates won just his second time trial of his career to end the day the best-looking GC rider, while Van der Poel cemented his position in pink; he may now hold onto it until Tuesday at least.

How it happened

Saturday’s Giro d’Italia stage two took place around Budapest, as the Italian race continued its brief prelude in Hungary.

The 9.2km course around the capital city was raced incredibly fast, with a largely flat course punctuated by a hill at the end, 1.3km at an average of 4.8%. Not much of a test on a road bike, but surely a tough one on a time trial machine.

The course started in Pest, and followed the Danube, past the neo-Gothic splendour of the Hungarian Parliament, before crossing the grand river to Buda for the climb up to the castle.

The first rider to start on a sunny afternoon was Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal), who crashed on Friday’s opening stage, and his time was quickly overtaken by Alex Dowsett (Israel-Premier Tech), who was the fifth rider on the road.

The man from Essex held his position on the hot seat for about an hour in a time of 12:23, until he was unseated by Jos van Emden (Jumbo-Visma), who went four seconds quicker. The Dutchman won a Giro time trial in 2017, so has form in this race.

His teammate Edoardo Affini went even faster just minutes later, in a time of 12:10, nine whole seconds quicker, which looked like it could be a good time for the whole afternoon.

However, just half an hour later Affini was unseated by Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe), who went round at an average speed of 45.499km/h, claiming the hot seat with a time of 12:07. Kämna has never won a senior time trial before, so was perhaps a surprising leader on the day.

One of the first real general classification contenders to cross the line was Thymen Arensman (Team DSM), who finished just a second behind Kämna, which could set himself up well for the overall.

The Italian national TT champion, Matteo Sobrero (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) put his all into his effort, behind at the first time check but then four seconds ahead of Kämna at the finish, proving that it could be a course for the time trial specialists.

Just minutes later, Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) pushed Sobrero’s time close, looking like he might win on the day, but came up just short, doing his general classification effort no harm.

Richie Porte (Ineos Grenadiers) was similar, coming in nine seconds down, but also looking good in terms of the overall standings.

The next big challenger to do well was former Giro d’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma), who crossed the line at an average speed of 46.3km/h to take the lead in Budapest. 

However, just seconds later Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) blew this time away, going five seconds quicker, with an average speed of 46.6km/h. The Briton has never been thought to be the fastest time triallist, but over the punchy course in Hungary, he impressed.

Other GC contenders Romain Bardet (Team DSM), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) all impressed in the discipline which is not their favourite, finishing within 14 seconds of each other.

At just 20 years old, Ben Tulett (Ineos Grenadiers) put in a monster effort, coming in 13 seconds behind his compatriot Yates at his debut grand tour, a ride that could put him in the white jersey at the end of the day.

His teammate Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) shipped some time to his GC rivals, coming in 28 seconds behind Yates, which could prove valuable come the end of the race.

The last few riders to come in were those that were up there on the first stage. Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) came in sixth place, before Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) came up to the finish.

The Dutchman held onto his pink jersey after a huge effort on the final climb, but he came in three seconds behind Yates, so it was not his second win in two days. Van der Poel now looks likely to hold onto pink until Italy.

In the hot seat, Yates was clearly delighted with the win, only his second time trial win of his career.

Giro d'Italia 2022 stage two: Budapest to Budapest (9.2km)

1. Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange-Jayco, in 11-50
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix, at 3s
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, at 5s
4. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Team BikeExchange-Jayco, at 13s
5. Ben Tulett (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at same time
6. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma, at 17s
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe, at same time
8. Lennard Kämna (Deu) Bora-Hansgrohe, at same time
9. Mauro Schmid (Sui) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, at 18s
10. Thymen Arensman (Ned) Team DSM, at same time

General classification after stage two

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix, in 4-47-11
2. Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange-Jayco, at 11s
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, at 16s
4. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Team BikeExchange-Jayco, at 24s
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe, at same time
6. Ben Tulett (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at same time
7. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma, at 28s
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, at same time
9. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious, at 29s
10. Mauro Schmid (Sui) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, at same time

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