BMC Racing won their second consecutive Grand Tour team time trial as they pipped Orica-GreenEdge and Tinkoff-Saxo by less than a second.
With several changes of surface, including a sandy section near the start, led to organisers neutralising the general classification on the stage, with the times only counting for the team classification.
LottoNL-Jumbo set the early pace with what looked to be a strong time of 8:18, but it wasn't long until TTT specialists Orica-GreenEdge smashed the time by eight seconds.
Tinkoff-Saxo then edged Orica off the top spot by less than a second but their time in the leader's enclosure wasn't to be a long one as TTT world champions BMC took over by a tenth of a second.
Peter Velits crossed the line first for BMC and will wear the leader's red jersey in tomorrow's tough stage to Carminito del Rey. With a challenging finish, and with no time gaps between any of the riders, Velits will have a huge task on his hands to keep hold of the jersey.
Team Sky and Chris Froome didn't take any risks in their run, knowing the result would not affect the Brit's standing in the general classification, finishing in 9:21.
Several teams took even fewer risks, including Europcar (10:25) and Cannondale-Garmin (9:30), with their targets coming later in the race.
Vuelta a España stage one: Puerto Banus - Marbella (7.4km TTT)
1. BMC Racing, 8:10
2. Tinkoff-Saxo, at 0:01
3. Orica-GreenEdge, st
4. LottoNL-Jumbo, at 0:08
5. Etixx-Quick-Step, at 0:10
6. Trek Factory Racing, at 0:12
7. Caja Rural - Seguros RGA, at 0:18
8. Lotto-Soudal, st
9. Movistar, at 0:24
10. Cofidis, at 0:27
13. Astana, at 0:30
20. Team Sky, at 1:11
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
The six golden rules of nutrition for over 40s
Your body changes over time, and so do your nutritional needs - but it’s easy to adapt and stay strong, here's how...
By Dr Marc Bubbs • Published
Annemiek van Vleuten admits to 'doubts' over planned 2023 retirement
World champion says she still has drive to improve after almost perfect year
By Adam Becket • Published
Your verdict on the Vuelta a España: Brilliant, perfect, better than the Tour de France
We asked Cycling Weekly readers what they thought about this year's Vuelta a España, and were surprised by the response
By Nigel Wynn • Published
Dumoulin power data reveals true story of Vuelta a España ride
Dutch rider says he has "no good reason" not to share his data from the Vuelta a España publicly
By Gregor Brown • Published