Lilian Calmejane is absolutely thrashing his way up the climb, out of the saddle, swinging side to side. It’s a massive contrast from the time trial specialists who largely remained seated, but will it prove effective?
Here was the clubhouse leader Affini out on course earlier
Hungarian champion Erik Fetter (Eolo-Kometa) is roared up the final straight and takes a place in the provisional top 10.
Castroviejo goes into fourth place as Owain Doull (EF) produces a storming ride to take the second best time so far, with 12:18.
Jonathan Castroviejo is on the move – once a time trial specialist and now one of the leading Grand Tour domestiques. He was outstanding at last year’s Giro as Egan Bernal won the overall, and supported Tao Geoghegan Hart to victory the year before. All while becoming a staple of Ineos’ Tour de France team. One of the British team’s most important signings in recent years.
Affini stops the clock on 12:10, some nine seconds up on Van Emden.
Affini was three seconds down at the intermediate and has stormed up the climb. He’s going to take the lead here.
Van Emden’s teammate Edoardo Affini is also on a roll and could well threaten this new time…
Here comes Van Emden, and Dowsett is already getting up from the hotseat. He knows. The Dutchman hits the line with four seconds to spare – 12:19 the new fastest time.
No significant changes at the top of the standings recently, although Jos van Emden has just gone fastest through the intermediate. He’s bound to fade on the climb but then it’s not like Dowsett’s the strongest of climbers… this could be close.
We have an intermediate sprint after 7.9km, with Dowsett holding the fastest time there so far. That’s basically to split the course up into flat and climb, with the timings for the uphill final 1.3km to the finish to count towards the mountains classification.
Here’s Dowsett out on course a little earlier
Here comes Lawson Craddock (BikeExchange). It’s going to be close! But not quite! 12:23 for the US champ – the third rider to post that time – but again Dowsett remains in the lead by mere hundredths of a second.
Here comes Brandle. He moves past his minute-man in the latter phases but Dowsett’s time slips by and he takes provisional third at four seconds. It’s an Israel 1-2-3 at the moment.
Local hero Barnabas Peak comes to the line, six seconds down on Dowsett.
De Marchi is almost dead level with Dowsett at the line. He’s five hundreths of a second slower and so the Briton remains in the hotseat.
De Marchi is still out there as another Israel-Premier Tech threat, Matthias Brandle, sets off.
No big performance from Tratnik, who crashed yesterday, but Dowsett has just gone into the hotseat with 12:23, which takes 25 seconds out of Vanhoucke’s time.
The climb is tough. It rises steeply through banks of fans and it gets tougher when it turns left onto cobblestones and the gradient remains in the double digits. Another slight right-hander takes them onto gentler terrain but it doesn’t really start to speed up until the final kilometre.
We have our first finisher
Vanhoucke comes to the line on the smooth cobblestones and stops the clock on 12 minutes 48 seconds.
Here’s a better look at this course – flick through the photos below for the details provided in the road book.
You can see how the road runs along the river before twisting up the final climb, which itself is seen to be steepest at the bottom before nudging down to a more modest 3.4%.
In terms of the favourites for the stage win, Tom Dumoulin always has to be taken into account, even question marks surround his overall form. Van der Poel himself can be considered a contender given his storming TT at last year’s Tour, plus the fact he appears to have done a little more preparation for this.
Elsewhere, Joao Almeida is expected to put in the strongest showing from the overall contenders, while Simon Yates should find this course to his liking.
Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious), Davide Ballerini (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) and the Israel-Premier Tech duo of Alex Dowsett and Alessandro De Marchi ensure plenty of quality among the very early starters.
Vanhoucke rolls down the ramp and stage 2 is officially underway, with large crowds lining the opening stretch.
We’ve done our own recon of the course. My colleagues Barry Ryan and Alasdair Fotheringham are on the ground in Budapest and have been getting the lowdown on this 9.2km course. It’s urban, it’s tricky, it’s twisty, it’s a bit cobbly in places, and it features a nasty climb in the final kilometre.
Here’s our full preview piece
Less than 10 minutes away from the start of this stage. All the riders have reconned the course and the first starters are just finishing their warm-up routines.
Van der Poel is decked out in pink after his stage win in Visegrad yesterday, which put him into the overall lead. You can check out his new bike at the link below.
Mathieu van der Poel’s custom pink Canyon Speedmax for Giro d’Italia time trial
🔥 ITT warm up / part 1#Giro pic.twitter.com/qcxI5dLghTMay 7, 2022
For the full list of start times, click here.
The first rider to tackle this 9.2km course will be Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal), who’ll roll down the ramp at 14:00 local time. The last rider off will be stage 1 winner and overall leader Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), who’s underway at 16:58.
Hello and welcome along to Cyclingnews’ live coverage of stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia.
We remain in Hungary and today we have a short individual time trial in the capital of Budapest, which should give some early shape to the general classification in the battle for the overall title.