Tips for entering and riding the Duo Normand

The Duo Normand is possibly Team Grumpy's favourite time trial - the course offers a bit of everything to the rider, fast flat roads, coupled with quite technical sections.  We've always been favoured with good weather at the Duo, with the exception of 2006, when the weather could fairly be described as "British" - windy and very wet.  In fact usually, the biggest problem is the heat (well, for me at least, being Scottish).

There are a few things worth bearing in mind if you plan to ride the Duo:

  • Take safety pins to attach the numbers - these aren't supplied
  • You will need either a racing licence, or a doctor's note before you're allowed to ride.  You'll be asked for this when you sign on.  In practice, a racing licence may be easier and cheaper to get than a doctor's note, and will have associated insurance
  • Take plastic insulating tape to reinforce the pin holes on the number (in 2006 many competitors finished with no number because the numbers are printed on paper and will go soggy if it rains!) 
  • You can pay the entry in a £ sterling cheque
  • You sign on in Marigny on the Saturday - this can take a l-o-n-g time
  • You can have a following car (rumour has it that this might be essential in 2009, but that would be crazy)
  • Rumour also has it that the Duo Normand will enforce the (exceedingly stupid) UCI 3:1 rule in 2009, for all categories
  • Buy a programme on Saturday from one of the hordes of small children in Marigny that will be selling them
  • There aren't very many toilets in Marigny, and it is very busy on race day

Click here for details of the course

Here's the profile of the course (click the image for the full version):

Duo Normand Profile



How to ride two-up team time trials

Having ridden two-ups for quite a few years now, Team Grumpy have a few pointers to share.  Our first efforts can quite generously be described as "Laurel and Hardy go Time Trialling".  We were really quite clueless from the outset: we hadn't figured out how long we should each ride in each spell at the front and in fact we couldn't even do smooth changeovers.  And our first attempt, which was fortunately an NBRC club event rather than an open event, was marked by one of us easing off immediately after the start to check the other was still there, which nearly caused an embarrassing pileup.  So, in a serious counterpart to the Team Grumpy Rules (at the TG blog), here are some pointers to effective two-up riding: