By Peter Oliver

Maybe there is something in the soup up at the Green Mountain Valley School. On a crisply perfect Tuesday evening, August 28, two sturdy GMVSers, Jim Komarmi and Steve Utter, proved that, on a relatively flat time-trial course,  it is the bigger guys who happen to be ski coaches who rule the roost.

In the fourth installment of the summer-long Mad River Riders Time Trial Series, Komarmi took his second victory of the season with a time of 22:41 on the 9.4-mile course along Route 100. It was his last hard effort before joining eight other local riders on the start line in this weekend's Green Mountain Stage Race.

Komarmi's blazing speed -- resulting in an average time of just under 25 mph -- put him well ahead of Utter's second place time of 23:53. In third was Mat Katz, the poor fellow -- he's not that big and he's not a ski coach. No chance.

Komarmi's win allowed him to take advantage of some curious circumstances affecting the top of the series-long standings. David Glick, the series leader coming into the race, had departed for Arizona in pursuit of his education and, according to inside sources, a girlfriend. Second-place Taylor Hubbard was sidelined by some mystery ailment that had his feet feeling all tingly -- the strange aftereffect of his recent solo performance in a 24-hour mountain-bike race.

And so the opportunist Komarmi went flying past the love-lorn Glick and the funny-footed Hubbard into the series lead. His lead is not insurmountable, but he'll be a hard guy to overtake with just one race remaining.

Meanwhile among the women, the mano-a-mano duel that has been the talk of the summer race circuit once again played out against the classic Vermont backdrop of idyllic green tinged with the early colors of fall. Once again Audrey Huffman got the better of archrival Melanie Simon, whose aerodynamic position on the bike may be the best in the field among both men and women. But while Simon is a knife through the wind, Huffman just seems to pedal faster.

The final race in the series will be the short but decidedly uncomfortable ride up West Hill, from Warren to the Sugarbush golf course. The race date is September 25; the start time is 6 p.m. As always, anyone with a bike and a helmet is welcome. Entry is free. For more race info, go to madriverriders.com.