Vuelta a España 2023: Torrential Triumph for DSM-Firmenich in Stage 1 Time Trial

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reviewed by Rory McAllister
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UAE Team Emirates cross the finish line in the Team Time Trial on Stage 1 of the Vuelta a España 2023.

In a thrilling display of strength and teamwork, the Dutch powerhouse DSM-Firmenich defied the onslaught of torrential rain to secure a stunning victory on the opening stage of the Vuelta a España.

The race was in the balance, and the atmosphere was charged with anticipation as the peloton battled treacherous conditions.

The course was particularly daunting given the weather, boasting 18 sharp 90-degree bends. Riders went down on regular occasions in the wet conditions as rain cascaded from the heavens above; many, including Remco Evenepoel, were less than impressed.

DSM-Firmenich celebrate their victory on Stage 1 of the Vuelta a España 2023.

DSM-Firmenich Conquer the Elements to Secure A Spectacular Victory

The red leader’s jersey found its first home with Italian rider Lorenzo Milesi, who spearheaded DSM-Firmenich’s triumphant charge across the finish line in the 14.8 km team time trial through the rain-soaked streets of Barcelona.

Movistar was the penultimate team to set off; the local favorites were under pressure to perform and deliver accordingly. They showcased their grit by clinching well-deserved second place.

It took a few minutes for race officials to decipher who the winner was, with Movistar finishing a fraction of a second behind DSM-Firmenich.

Meanwhile, the EF Education-Easypost secured the third spot, trailing six seconds behind the Spanish powerhouse.

Favourites Jumbo-Visma Fall short

Jumbo-Visma encountered significant challenges during the team time trial. The unity of the team seemed to be lacking as a slight division emerged momentarily, creating a gap between a couple of their riders and the rest of the team.

Suffering from a Jonas Vingegaard puncture and subsequent bike change, they reached the intermediate sprint sitting in 10th position, lagging almost thirty seconds behind DSM’s leading pace.

Things wouldn’t improve, and ultimately, their efforts fell shy by a margin of 32 seconds, resulting in an 11th place.

Notably, every DSM rider maintained their balance – a feat that proved elusive for many. In particular, Jayco Alula’s Eddie Dunbar tasted bitter misfortune with his bike slipping beneath him.

Ineos Grenadiers encountered their own setback as Laurens De Plus hit the asphalt early.

Fans will have to wait a little while longer for any significant signs of who may eventually win the GC race, with no significant time gaps between race favorites Jonas Vingegaard, Remco Evenapoel, and Primoz Roglic.

Lorenzo Milesi, still basking in the elation of victory, shared his exhilaration in an interview with Spanish television,

“Of course [we didn’t expect this] but it’s an amazing feeling. This win with all the team was so fun and so nice. It was really emotional to watch all the [rest of the] race. We took some risks but had a good plan and stuck to the plan and it worked really well, so I’m very happy.”

As the race marches on, Sunday’s second stage promises a challenging 182 km journey from Mataro to the formidable Montjuic Castle in Barcelona. Stage 2 will begin the search for the leader of the mountain classification.

The grand finale of the season’s Grand Tours will unfurl its drama-laden chapters until its culmination in Madrid on the 17th of September.

Team Jumbo-Visma cross the line a dissapointing 11th place in the Vuelta 2023 Team Time Trial.

Vuelta a España 2023: Stage 1 Results

1. Team DSM – Firmenich: 17.30.15

2. Movistar: 17.30.70, +0.55 seconds

3. EF Education-EasyPost: 17.36.08, +5.93 seconds

4. Soudal – Quick Step: 17.36.64, +6.49 seconds

5. Groupama – FDJ: 17.36.80, +6.65 seconds

6. Bahrain – Victorious: 17.47.57, +10.42 seconds

7. Astana Qazaqstan Team: 17.47.28, +17.13 seconds

8. INEOS Grenadiers: 17.50.89, +20.74 seconds

9. Cofidis: 17.52.12, +21.97 seconds Average Speed: 49.696 km/h

10. BORA – Hansgrohe: 17.58.17, +28.02

Vuelta a España 2023: General Classification Standings after Stage 1

1. MILESI Lorenzo (Team DSM – Firmenich): 17.30.15

2. POOLE Max (Team DSM – Firmenich): 17.30.15, + 0 seconds

3. BARDET Roman (Team DSM – Firmenich): 17.30.15, + 0 seconds

4. FLYNN Sean (Team DSM – Firmenich): 17.30.15, + 0 seconds

5. Onley Oscar (Team DSM – Firmenich): 17.30.15, + 0 seconds

6. CHRIS Hamilton (Team DSM – Firmenich): 17.30.15, + 0 seconds

7. MAS Enric (Movistar Team): 17.30.70, + 0.55 seconds

8. RUBIO Einer Augusto (Movistar Team): 17.30.70, + 0.55 seconds

9. OLIVEIRA Nelson (Movistar Team): 17.30.70, + 0.55 seconds

10. GARCÍA CORTINA Iván (Movistar Team): 17.30.70, + 0.55 seconds

Vuelta a España Jerseys after Stage 1

Red Jersey

Miles Lorenzo (Team DSM – Firmenich)

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As a qualified sports massage therapist and personal trainer with eight years' experience in the field, Ben plays a leading role in BikeTips' injury and recovery content. Alongside his professional experience, Ben is an avid cyclist, splitting his time between his road and mountain bike. He is a particular fan of XC ultra-endurance biking, but nothing beats bikepacking with his mates. Ben has toured extensively throughout the United Kingdom, French Alps, and the Pyrenees ticking off as many iconic cycling mountains as he can find. He currently lives in the Picos de Europa of Spain's Asturias region, a stone's throw from the legendary Altu de 'Angliru - a spot that allows him to watch the Vuelta a España roll past his doorstep each summer.

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