Team Grumpy have been riding the Duo Normand since 2003, only missing one year since then. We’ve had quite good placings in that time, either in the Veteran or Corporate categories. We came second in the corporate category last year, but that doesn’t quite indicate the magnitude of the whipping we got from the winners! The Duo Normand website has started listing riders registered to ride. At the moment there are only two teams in the Corporatif category, one being Team Grumpy. Plenty of time for more entries to flood in, though. So is there anything to be said in a preview for this event?

Well, we’re staying near Cerisy La Salle – in the same location as last year – though our travel plans will preclude any significant 2-up technique practice before the event. And Team Grumpy’s 2-up outings this season have been less than stellar (the Port Talbot Wheelers 2-up ‘25′ and the Icknield 32k). I guess we’re just hoping that we’ve done it so long that we’ll just fall naturally back into the swing of things.

As usual, we’ll take the opportunity to do a little exploration of the Normandy countryside on our tandem, see for example 2008 and 2009, enjoying the local food and drink, particularly the moules et frites, a particular favourite of mine.  And of course, drinking freely of the Team Grumpy official energy drink.

Finally, for those who’ve never ridden the Duo Normand and want to see what the course is like from the rider’s perspective, can I recommend the world’s most unlikely video, which we dubbed Silent Movie.  This was recorded on a small video camera mounted on Gerry’s handlebars.

Here are our previous performances:

2009 – Corporatifs
We may have been second, but just look at that margin!  The BikeRadar team of Jones and Coomber came flying past us…and can be seen in the video of the event.

1 COOMBER Robin – JONES Jeff 01:15:22
2 ORAM Gerard – SAUNDERS Robert 01:25:02

2008 – Corporatifs
By 2008, Gerry had persuaded me to switch to the Corporatifs category.  Not entirely sure why, but the effect is to ride at a better time of day than the Unlicenced and Veteran categories.  Also the Veterans category has no handicapping.  The guys who won rode a storming race, particularly since they didn’t look much like time triallists and were riding road bikes with clip on extensions.

265 1 LENOIR Alexis – LEGRIX Benoit 01:15:55
263 2 ORAM Gerard – SAUNDERS Robert 01:22:28

2007 – no ride

2006 – Veteran
Improved to second place, will less then a minute between Team Grumpy and the winners!  As far as I recall, this was the only year so far (touch wood) that we’ve raced in inclement weather.  It was also a weekend break in Normandy rather than a holiday.

217 1 MAYMAN David – HARRIS Mike 01:22:44
219 2 SAUNDERS Robert – ORAM Gerard 01:23:11

2005 – Veteran
Up to fourth place in 2005…

204 1 HARRIS Michael – MARK Wunsch 01:20:37
202 2 LE MAITRE Graham – DOWN Patrick 01:21:51
222 3 CHAPLIN Lee – GRIFFITHS David 01:23:08
210 4 ORAM Gerard – SAUNDERS Robert 01:23:15

2004 – Veteran
On this occasion, we crept up the ranking to 5th place, and the margins between the top five riders were rather respectable.

260 1 HARRIS Mike – GREIG Steve 01:20:05
246 2 FOX Paul – JARDINE Stuart 01:20:28
259 3 DODKINS Alan – ROBINSON Ray 01:21:10
266 4 BIGREL Pierrick – LECHARPENTIER Gilbert 01:21:40
264 5 SAUNDERS Robert – ORAM Gerard 01:22:18

2003 -Veteran
This was the infamous year of the cramp, when Gerry cramped up mid-race.  We’d been doing pretty well till that point.  Nonetheless, our first outing at the Duo was excellent fun.

238 1 JONES MARK – GERAN STEVE 01:18:55
214 2 FOX PAUL – JARDINE STEWART 01:19:38
213 3 WOODBURN JOHN – IDDLES ROGER 01:20:59
205 4 LECHARPENTIER GILBERT – BIGREL PIERRICK 01:22:05
231 5 DICKASON PETER – COOPER RUSSELL 01:22:28
233 6 GALLIENNE DAVID – GARNHAM MICHAEL 01:22:29
203 7 GRACE STUART – DONKIN ALAN 01:22:54
224 8 MCMILLAN JOHN – LOVATT SIDNEY 01:23:15
206 9 SAUNDERS ROBERT – ORAM GERARD 01:24:01