[nggallery id=70]By Singletrack.com
Mary McConneloug and Michael Broderick won the third stage of the six-stage Trans Andes Challenge on Thursday, coming across the line less than four minutes ahead of the team leading the race.
Going into Friday’s fourth stage, Martin Flano and Nicolas Prudencio (Giant Nuun) of Chile lead with a total time of 11:49:58. The coed team of McConneloug and Broderick (Kenda Seven) are 11 minutes 25 seconds back. They won the 64.5km first stage by 26 seconds. The men’s duo of Flano and Prudencio won the grueling 107km second stage, besting McConneloug and Broderick by 14:33.
The Swiss coed team of Renata Bucher and Simon Zahnd are in third, 55:39 behind the leading team. Teammates Rebecca Rusch and Jenny Smith round out the top-ten, at 1:47:06 off the lead.
Riders of each team must remain together at all times during the race. If, at any point, riders separate by more than one minute the team will receive a penalty.
The 233-mile race crosses the Patagoinan Andes from Chile to Argentina and includes some 35,000 feet of total climbing.