Italian Filippo Ganna won the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia, a 15.1-km individual time trial between Monreale and Palermo, to claim the first Maglia Rosa leader's jersey of this year's race.

The Ineos-Grenadiers rider, who claimed the time trial title at the world championships last week, clocked 15 minutes 24 seconds to beat Portugal's Joao Almeida by a massive 22 seconds.

Geraint Thomas, also from Ineos-Grenadiers, was the best of the pre-race favourites when he took fourth place with a time of 15:47 with his British compatriot Simon Yates losing 26 seconds to the 2018 Tour de France champion.

Two-time champion and home favourite Vincenzo Nibali had a disappointing ride, finishing 1:06 behind

Thomas, with Dane Jakob Fuglsang and Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk also losing precious time - down 1:24 and 1:21 on the leader, respectively.

Fuglsang's Astana team mate and co-leader Aleksandr Vlasov of Russia lost 54 seconds to Thomas.

Astana, however, lost key climber Miguel Angel Lopez, sixth overall in the Tour de France, who was taken into an ambulance after crashing heavily when he hit a bump on the road.

"Miguel Angel has been taken to hospital for further observation," Astana said on Twitter.

The Giro was rescheduled from its original 9-31 May dates with the start being moved from Hungary to Sicily amid the Covid-19 crisis.