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Waitsfield, VT 05673

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McCarthy masters the gulf


By Peter Oliver

One form of perfection deserves another. On an evening that can only be described as perfect -- 70 degrees, clear, and windless -- Charles McCarthy, perhaps The Valley's preeminent pedalist, put in something close to a perfect ride in winning the third race in the Mad River Riders monthly time trial series.

On Tuesday evening McCarthy covered the 18-mile course, from Warren through Granville Gulf and back, in a blazing, new, record time of 43 minutes, 33 seconds, for an average speed of 25.07 mph. That time was good enough to beat second-place David Glick by 44 seconds and was well ahead of Jim Komarmi's third-place time of 45:01.

That left Glick and Komarmi scratching their heads and trying to figure out how they could have been faster. Glick said he was having shifting problems that wouldn't allow him to ride in his highest gear. The ol' busted shifter excuse. And at the top of the Gulf, Komarmi had to slow briefly because of a moose crossing the road -- the ol' moose on the loose excuse.

Taking first place among the women was, unsurprisingly, Audrey Huffman, with a time of 53:30. Huffman, who seems unbeatable whenever she chooses to saddle up, passed rival Melanie Simon to take over the lead in the season-long series standings.

In the men's series standings, Glick could find some consolation -- his runner-up finish allowed him to take over the series lead from the always steady Taylor Hubbard, who finished fourth on Tuesday. Hubbard's reward was having his entire family there to cheer him on, even if daughters Ella and Grace, scrambling around on rocks near the finish line, were less than attentive when their father came riding in.

The next race in the series will be on Tuesday, August 28, on a 10-mile course on Route 100B between Moretown and Middlesex. As always, anyone with a bike and a helmet is welcome. Entry is free, and prizes from Mad River Glen, Egan's Big World Pub and Grill, the Bridges, Ole's, Fitwerx, and Stark Mountain Bike Works are in the offing for top finishers. Go to madriverriders.com for more info.

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