Filippo Ganna claimed the first Maglia Rosa leader's jersey of the 2021 Giro d'Italia on home soil, winning the opening time trial, an 8.6km ride along the Po river on Saturday.

Time trial world champion Ganna, who also won the first stage of last year's Giro, clocked a best time of eight minutes 48 seconds to beat compatriot Edoardo Affini by 10 seconds and Norway's Tobias Foss by 12.

Nicolas Roche was 46th for Team DSM, 40 seconds off Ganna's pace, while mountain specialist Dan Martin (Israel Start-up Nation) was 108th, 17 seconds behind his fellow Irish rider.

Nicholas Roche during Saturday's time trial

Belgian prospect Remco Evenepoel, who was making his comeback to competitive cycling more than eight months after serious injuries in a freak crash at the Giro di Lombardia, secured an encouraging top-10 finish, 18 seconds off the pace.

The 21-year-old, who won all four of the stage races he started last season, is making his grand tour debut, gunning for the general classification.

Among the other overall contenders, Russian Aleksandr Vlasov clocked 9:12, faring better than 2019 Tour de France champion Egan Bernal of Colombia (9:26), Britain's Simon Yates (9:25) and double Giro champion and local favourite Vincenzo Nibali (9:28), who is back to racing after recovering from a wrist injury that required surgery.

Last year's runner-up Jai Hindley of Australia was a bit further down in the rankings with a time of 9:33.Sunday's second stage is a 176-km ride from Stupinigi to Novara.