Dumoulin is one of just two former Giro champions - along with Bahrain-Merida's Vincenzo Nibali - taking part with Chris Froome's absence promoting him to a position of second favourite, behind Primoz Roglic.
The 2017 overall winner and last year's runner-up had signalled that he was willing to overlook another quest for glory and join Froome in focusing on the Tour de France, but Dumoulin believes his past success will count for little in the company of so many experienced riders who have opted into this year's competition.
Dumoulin's 2021 season over after breaking wrist on training ride
Image credit: Getty Images
"I’m pretty good," the Dutchman exclusively told Eurosport. "I’ve been at altitude camp for two weeks so I used that to make the last few steps towards the Giro.
I think it’s all about being in top shape and being better than the others.
"Maybe I can rely on experience more than some of the other guys, but with Simon Yates, Primoz Roglic, Egan Bernal, Vincenzo Nibali, Miguel Angel Lopez – there’s quite a good line-up and they all have experience and compete for very strong teams, so it will be decided by who’s best."
With two of the three time trials containing uphill finishes, Dumoulin has been strongly backed to go close to a second title, but Simon Yates could provide his biggest threat having won three stages of last year's Giro.
The Mitchelton-Scott rider's success at the Vuelta a Espana last September further strengthens his claims, but Dumoulin is relishing the competition.
When asked if he is concerned about Yates' challenge, he added: "No, I’m not worried, but the Spring races definitely showed the competition is going to be brutal in the upcoming Giro.
I will have to be in top, top, top shape in order to try and win it and even then it’s going to be very difficult. But I can only focus on myself and try to be the best I can be and hope for the best.
The 28-year-old has spoken previously of finishing in second place 12 months ago as being a fair reflection of his strengths, but he played down using last year's memory of falling 46 seconds short of Froome as a source of motivation.
"I was satisfied with the position I finished, second place was very satisfying," he said. "I didn’t win like the year before but I was very happy with my performance.
"I don’t think I made mistakes at the time – maybe in hindsight I did. But at the time of the race itself I think I made all the right decisions – my legs decided I was going to be second."
Cycling fans across Europe will be able to watch the Giro d'Italia live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player, available on the app and online via eurosport.co.uk. Eurosport Player also allows viewers to catch-up and re-live all the action on demand. Visit here to sign-up.
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