Simon Yates and Tom Dumoulin set for time trial battle that could decide Giro

• Yates takes 2min 11sec lead into Tuesday’s time trial
• Dumoulin says Yates’s climbing strength gives him overall edge

Since the 2018 Giro d’Italia route was announced last November, one day has loomed large: Tuesday 22 May, date of the 34.5km time trial from Trento to Rovereto. With the race delicately poised after a series of mountain-top battles between Lancashire’s Simon Yates and last year’s winner Tom Dumoulin, those expectations look set to be fully justified.

There is an exquisite irony in the focus on a single time trial during a Giro packed with legendary and fearsome ascents: Etna, Gran Sasso, Monte Zoncolan, the Colle delle Finestre and Monte Jafferau. But this time trial always suggested a scenario for the 2018 race which has a simplicity about it which is both brutal and beautiful: Dumoulin will gain time here in spades, so it is up to his rivals to gain it elsewhere.

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