Yates was confident heading into the short but challenging 9.2km TT in Budapest, Hungary. The 29-year-old has shown big improvements against the clock since his team partnered with Giant this year and he began racing on a Trinity Advanced Pro TT bike with a CADEX WheelSystem. He showed hints of his time trial form in March, when he finished top-five in a TT stage at Paris-Nice.
“I have to thank our partners, Giant and CADEX,” said Yates, who also wore the new Giant Surge Pro shoes and Rivet TT helmet. “We put a lot of work into our equipment this year, and of course it’s paying off.”
So far Yates has shown terrific form in the Giro’s opening weekend in Hungary. To earn the Stage 2 win, he had to top van der Poel, the overall race leader following his win on the opening day, and other top time trial talents including former world champion and Giro winner Tom Dumoulin, who was third on the day.
“Today was a 12-minute effort,” Yates said. “We still have some much more demanding stages in front of us. But of course we will celebrate today, it’s one of only two time trials I have ever won and my first ever in a grand tour, so we’ll enjoy today but I think we need to look at the bigger picture.”
Yates wasn’t the only rider from Team BikeExchange-Jayco to have a breakthrough day in Budapest. His Italian teammate Matteo Sobrero finished fourth in the TT and earned the best young rider jersey.
“Winning in the Giro d’Italia is always a lovely day, and the time trial Simon produced today was a very, very impressive one,” said Matt White, the team’s head sport director. “It was also one of the best time trials Sobrero has ever ridden, and I think across the board the team performed very well today.”
The 105th edition of the Giro now has one more day in Hungary, followed by a rest day as the race transfers south to Sicily and then makes its way north through Italy. Stage 3 follows a mostly flat route before its finish near Lake Balaton and is expected to be a day for the sprinters.