Simon Yates of BikeExchange made the first move toward overall victory by winning the short 9.2km time trial in Budapest to move into second place overall at the Giro d’Italia, gaining handfuls of seconds on his closest rivals. But in the process he barely held off current race leader Mathieu van der Poel of Alpecin-Fenix, who produced another stunning ride (do we need a macro for this?) to virtually assure he will carry the maglia rosa back to Italy. Van der Poel finished a mere three seconds back, ahead of several time trial specialists and general classification hopefuls, showing that if pure power is the recipe for success, he will be there in the end. He beat his country’s national champion, Tom Dumoulin, as well as Italy’s ITT champ, Eduardo Affini. The dream of pink will end on the slopes of Mount Etna Tuesday (we think?), but van der Poel will have gotten his money’s worth out of this Giro d’Italia by then.
The outstanding performance for Yates was his fifth career stage victory in the Giro and now owns time over Richard Carapaz (24” back), Wilco Kelderman (23”), and Tom Dumoulin (5”) that may come in handy later. Being in prime form early on will help Yates as the Giro includes several meaningful mountain challenges in the first week-plus. However, tomorrow’s stage, the final in Hungary, is flat and should end in a sprint.
- Van der Poel
- Yates, at 0.11
- Dumoulin, at 0.16
- Sobrero, at 0.24
- Kelderman, s.t.
Budapest 9.2 km Timetrial
Welcome to the postlogue..? The post-prologue? Whatever, it’s a short TT to give us an early sense of who the complete losers are GC-wise in this race. Or not, since this little thing is more than a third of the TT-kilometers in this race.
Expected finish: 17:05 CEST (last rider)
Béla Bartók of the Day: Edoardo Affini
Who knows where he is form-wise but I think he fits the mold of a Giro TT winner.