The DSM-Firmenich team took advantage of the weather conditions and managed to prevail in the team time trial that kicked off the first stage of La Vuelta a España 2023, marked by rain and the late start time that conditioned finishing at night , with anger included from pedalists like Remco Evenepoel.

It was, without a doubt, a lackluster start to the Spanish contest on the day that the last heat wave of those suffered this summer gave way to a stormy situation. The rain made its appearance over Barcelona, where the team time trial that kicked off La Vuelta was held on a completely urban route.

This made the teams start thinking more about avoiding falls than about competing in the race. A stage that started at 7:00 p.m., which together with a fully covered sky was going to be key to the outcome.

The race began, under a heavy downpour, the members of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA. After him, a few minutes later it was DSM-Firmenich’s turn, which easily exceeded the time set by Caja. Little did they know, starting so early, that this time would be worth gold.

However, the teams were completing a route that became a string of falls, cyclists off the hook. Real pile-ups were seen in teams like Arkéa-Samsic or Jayco-AlUla. INEOS Grenadiers, one of the hopefuls for victory with two locomotives such as Filippo Ganna and Jonathan Castroviejo, was harmed when they lost Laurens de Plus due to a fall and the Italian suffered an untimely puncture.

However, the most dramatic thing was to see how the afternoon gradually turned into night that made it difficult for the cyclists to see, so that, as more teams reached the finish line, it became increasingly clear that victory could go to the showcases of DSM-Firmeninch.

Many were excited about the Movistar Team when it managed to set the best time at the intermediate timing point. They reached the last kilometer with options to beat DSM’s time, which they would finally match. Seconds of uncertainty until knowing that the hundredths gave victory to DSM-Fimenich. Just 55 hundredths separated both squads.

However, the most important thing is that the time trial left Enric Mas happy, since contrary to usual, he started the competition with a 32-second lead over Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard, and 37 over Juan Ayuso and Joao Almeida.

At that point, the only thing missing was the current winner of the race, Remco Evenepoel and his Soudal-QuickStep team, who did it by giving up 6 seconds and with the monumental anger of the Belgian cyclist who entered the finish line protesting the lack of visibility already totally closed night with the only lighting from street lamps and car headlights.

Classification Stage 1

1- DSM-Firmenich 17’30”

2- Movistar Team m.t.

3- EF Education-EasyPost +06’’

4- Soudal-QuickStep m.t.

5- Groupama-FDJ m.t.

6- Bahrain Victorious +10”

7- Astana +17’’

8- INEOS Grenadiers +20”

9- Cofidis +22”

10- Bora-Hansgrohe +28’’

General ranking

1.- Lorenzo Milesi (DSM-Firmenich) 17’30”

2.- Max Poole (DSM-Firmenich) m.t.

3.- Romain Bardet (DSM-Firmenich) m.t.

4.- Sean Flynn (DSM-Firmenich) m.t.

5.- Edgar Oscar Onley (DSM-Firmenich) m.t.

6.- Christopher Hamilton (DSM-Firmenich) m.t.

7.- Enric Mas (Movistar Team) m.t.

8.- Einer Rubio (Movistar Team) m.t.

9.- Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team) m.t.

10.- Ivan García Cortina (Movistar Team) m.t