Simon Yates triumphed in the individual time trial on stage two of the Giro d'Italia ©Getty Images

Britain’s Simon Yates earned victory in the individual time trial on the second stage of the Giro d’Italia, as Mathieu van der Poel retained the overall race lead in Budapest.

The second stage featured a 9.2 kilometres time trial in Hungary’s capital city, with Dutchman Tom Dumoulin among the favourites.

The former individual time trial world champion moved to the top of the standings by completing the course in a time of 11min 55sec.

His status as the provisional stage winner proved fleeting, with Yates storming to the fastest time by clocking 11:50.

The Team BikeExchange-Jayco rider was left nervously awaiting the outcome of Van der Poel’s time trial, with the Dutchman pushing his time close.

The pink jersey crossed the line with a three-second deficit to end second on the stage, with Yates earning victory.

"For sure this is my best time trial victory," Yates said.

"I'm of course very happy, it's a little bit unexpected.

"I rode the fastest I could, also on the flat.

"I was never confident to win until Mathieu van der Poel crossed the line.

"Today was just a 10-minute effort, there are still many more to come."

Mathieu Van der Poel finished second to remain in the overall race lead ©Getty Images
Mathieu Van der Poel finished second to remain in the overall race lead ©Getty Images

The result keeps Van der Poel in the race lead, following his stage-one sprint success.

The Alpecin-Fenix rider holds an 11-second advantage over Yates in the general classification, with the Briton having moved up to second place.

Dumoulin, who won the Giro d’Italia in 2017, lies 16 seconds off the race lead in third.

"I would have signed for this performance before the start," said Van der Poel following the stage.

"I did a very good time trial.

"The difference to the first place is very close.

"I got myself an extra day in the Maglia Rosa, maybe more because it should be a sprint finish tomorrow, and I'm very happy with that."

Hungary’s hosting of the race start will conclude tomorrow with a 201km stage from Kaposvár to Balatonfüred.

The race will then continue in Italy.