Only four seconds of team time separated the top three men's cycling teams at the end of the longest stage of racing in this year's Wednesday International Tour de Toona PREIT/Logan Valley Mall Road Race.
The 96-mile trek of the premier stage race in the Americas through the mountains of four central Pennsylvania counties ended with a sprint to the finish with the top three riders -- Frank Pipp of Target Training, Karl Menzies of Health Net Pro Cycling, and Ciaran Powers of Team Navigator's Insurance -- tied at 3:36:21.
The women's Cambria County Convention and Visitor's Bureau Road Race over the same course ended with winner, Kristin Armstrong of Team Lipton, on a solo breakaway three minutes ahead of her nearest challengers. Armstrong traversed the mountainous 96 miles in 4:21:15, besting Tuesday's stage winner, Tina Pic of Colavita Cooking Light and time trial winner Alex Wrubleski, both of whom finished with times of 4:24:14.
At the end of the third of seven stages of racing, the men's teams are closely bunched with Navigator's Insurance in the lead, Health Net Pro Cycling one second back, and Toyota-United Pro Cycling four seconds off the winning pace.
Both the men's and women's race were hotly contested, with groups attacking, and being drawn back into the Peloton, until a break occurred in the women's race that could not be overcome.
Overall, the yellow jersey for race leader was on the shoulders of Kristin Armstrong, for the women, and Karl Menzies reclaimed his jersey from the opening day's time trial.
Thursday's race will be in Hollidaysburg, a circuit race from the center square of the Blair County seat over three, 20-mile laps.
Complete results are available at www.tourdetoona.com