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Alia Shafi wins stage 3 time trial

Alia Shafi wins stage 3 time trial
  Women's winner Alia Shafi from Fount Cycling guild moved up 14 places to 5th overall in the general classification

Women’s winner Alia Shafi from Fount Cycling guild moved up 14 places to 5th overall in the general classification

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Women's winner Alia Shafi from Fount Cycling guild moved up 14 places to 5th overall in the general classification

Women’s winner Alia Shafi from Fount Cycling guild moved up 14 places to 5th overall in the general classification

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The Miami Nights warmed up together for their solo effort.

The Miami Nights warmed up together for their solo effort.

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Time trial took place in the Devil's Den State Park

Time trial took place in the Devil’s Den State Park

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Nadia Gontova (ROXO Racing) winner of the best Young rider classification at the tour of the Gila, waits in the paddock with Natalie Quinn (CCB - Alpine Carbon p/b LLG)

Nadia Gontova (ROXO Racing) winner of the best Young rider classification at the tour of the Gila, waits in the paddock with Natalie Quinn (CCB – Alpine Carbon p/b LLG)

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Lauren Stephens (EF Education - Tibco - SVB) gets words of support and encouragement from her husband Mat Stevens (Elevate).

Lauren Stephens (EF Education – Tibco – SVB) gets words of support and encouragement from her husband Mat Stevens (Elevate).

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Sarah Van Dam (DNA Pro Cycling) holds a 20 second lead over Romina Cruz (ROXO Racing) in the Best Young Rider's jersey.

Sarah Van Dam (DNA Pro Cycling) holds a 20 second lead over Romina Cruz (ROXO Racing) in the Best Young Rider’s jersey.

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Emily Ehrlich (Virginias Blue Ridge Twenty24) finished 4th on the stage and moved into 2nd place overall GC.

Emily Ehrlich (Virginias Blue Ridge Twenty24) finished 4th on the stage and moved into 2nd place overall GC.

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Lauren Stephens (EF Education - Tibco - SVB) finished 2nd in the TT and extended her GC lead over 2nd place from 45

Lauren Stephens (EF Education – Tibco – SVB) finished 2nd in the TT and extended her GC lead over 2nd place from 45

Alia Shafi (Fount Cycling) won the uphill stage 3 time trial at Joe Martin Stage Race on Saturday. The only rider to break the 11-minute mark, Shafi covered the 4.8km route in 10:58 beating runner-up Lauren Stephens (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) by four seconds and Laurel Quinones (Virginia’s Blue Ridge-Twenty24) by seven seconds.

“It was tough. I was just thinking of all the fast girls behind me and I didn’t want to slow down and have them catch me so I just put my head down,” Shafi said at the end.

It was the first UCI win for Shafi, who is racing her inaugural road season.

”It’s been tough. This is only my second big race. Racing with the best in the US is really inspiring, it’s been great. Learn a lot,” added Shafi who finished ninth overall at the Redlands Bicycle Classic earlier this year

Overall leader Stephens increased her lead to 1:17 over her closest competitor Emily Ehrlich (Virginia’s Blue Ridge-Twenty24) ahead of the finale stage 4 in Fayetteville on Sunday. Emilie Fortin (Cynisca Cycling) dropped one spot to third in the general classification at 1:29 back.

“I was just behind by a few seconds and held onto the lead,” Stephens said.

On a beautiful calm sunny day, 95 riders faced a twisty 4.8-kilometer course in the Devil’s Den State Park with an average grade of 5 per cent.

The 77th rider to start, Shafi had to wait until all the GC contenders were finished to celebrate her victory. The Seattle-based rider moved up to fifth overall, at 3:28 down.

“It went by a lot quicker than I thought it would. It was a pretty short TT. Nice and hot, it felt like I did a pretty good effort,” she said. I really like climbing so it was nice to have a more uphill TT today to give it a try, I’ve never really done something like that,” said Quinones who finished third at the time trial at the Redlands Bicycle Classic

The Joe Martin Stage Race concludes on Sunday with a criterion in Fayetteville, taking place on a technical 1.2-mile course with an uphill section leading to the start/finish line.

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