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by Shane Stokes
December 2, 2017
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Closely linked to the Giro d’Italia through the RCS group, Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that defending champion Tom Dumoulin is certain to line up at the start of the 2018 Giro d’Italia. The Team Sunweb rider won the race last June but thus far has kept his intentions under wraps.
However, if La Gazzetta is correct, he will indeed be at the start in Israel and will be one of the big rivals for Team Sky’s Chris Froome. The newspaper reported this week that he will confirm his attendance in January; on Friday, it rated his chances of taking part at 100 percent, the same as Froome and Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates).
It had been thought that Dumoulin would favour the Tour de France but the announced route of the Giro d’Italia is likely more suited to him. At Wednesday’s race launch, he said that he already knew which of the two he would target, but refused to give details.
Dumoulin is a strong time trialist but also climbed well in last year’s race, winning the stage to Oropa and otherwise limiting his losses to Nairo Quintana. He beat the Colombian by 31 seconds, with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) a further nine seconds back in third.