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BOISE -- Idaho professional cyclist Kristin Armstrong beat the competition by more than two minutes to win the first stage of New Mexico's Tour of the Gila.

Armstrong won Wednesday's hilltop finish in 3 hours, 15 minutes, 39 seconds, after a breakaway. Two other U.S. riders, Carmen Small and Jade Wilcoxson, finished second and third.

Armstrong, a Boise-based rider and time-trial gold medalist from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is racing in hopes of a spot on the U.S. team this summer for the 2012 London Olympics.

The Tour of the Gila is a five-day race, with the second stage, a 64-mile ride straddling the Continental Divide, on Thursday.

Armstrong is due to race on her home turf in Idaho from May 24 to May 28 in Idaho at the Exergy Tour.

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