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Lauren Stephens time trials her way to San Luis GC lead

American Lauren Stephens uncorked a strong performance in the stage 4 time trial at Tour Femenino de San Luis to win the day and seize the overall lead Wednesday in Argentina.

It was her second win in as many years in the race’s traditional El Durazno time trial, a 12.8km individual test. This year, the Tibco-SVB rider beat another American, UnitedHealthcare’s Katie Hall, by 43 seconds. Argentina’s Maria Alvarez was third, another seven seconds back. In the overall, Stephens, 29, is now 57 seconds ahead of Aranza Villalon, who managed fifth place in the TT.

Thursday’s penultimate stage features an uphill finish on the Mirador de Potrero de los Funes, at the end of 97.4km of racing. That stage should prove decisive in the fight for GC, as the final stage in San Luis is mostly flat. Last year, Stephens had a solid ride on the Mirador — seventh — but she lost the overall lead to Brazil’s Janildes Fernandez by merely one second.