He doubled Flamengo's lead with a low shot that rebounded in off the post before Rodriguinho pegged a goal back for the hosts.
"I was really focused each game and each point. Especially against top players, one point can make the difference. So I had to stay very calm and keep going," the world number 50 added.
"I tried to leave last year, but they blocked everything at the last second. It was a project I was excited for but it didn't materialize."
"This is not the way I'd imagined taking the yellow jersey," Yates said, "If I'm honest, no one wants to take the jersey like this."
"My team was fantastic during the whole race. Today I felt very good, my legs were really good, until the attack I could ride easily. Also, I was very motivated. Many people supported me along the roads, and I want to thank everyone," Valter said after the race.
There were also second round wins for fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, fifth seed Alexander Zverev of Germany and seventh seed David Goffin of Belgium.
In other matches on Wednesday, Ceara beat local rivals Fortaleza 1-0, Atletico Goianiense drew 1-1 at Fluminense, Corinthians won 2-1 at Goias and Bragantino drew 1-1 at Athletico Paranaense. Enditem
Before the game, Dalian ranked seventh with six points in the eight-team division in northeastern China's Dalian city, while Henan, also on six points, sat at the bottom by virtue of their inferior goal difference.
American rider Quinn Simmons took silver and bronze went to Damien Howson from Australia. Enditem
Asked whether he would be willing to return to England in the future, Bale replied, "If those options arise, it is something I'd look at for sure."
Speaking to Sky Sports while on international duty with Wales, Bale was asked about his future at the La Liga champions.