While they were left chasing in the battle for the line after a hard day on the road on Tuesday, NTT made their comeback from a lengthy hiatus this season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Italian rider Giacomo Nizzolo was the best of the SA-registered team's seven-men squad on the 157km opening stage of the Vuelta a Burgos.
Nizzolo, who won the first stage of the race last year, took 26th position.
He crossed the line 16 seconds off the pace of Austrian rider Felix Grosschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) who broke away up the final climb to take the early lead in the five-day race.
Former national champion Louis Meintjes was the first SA rider to finish, completing the opening stage in 40th place.
Meintjes was 12 seconds behind Nizzolo going into Tuesday's 168km second stage.
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