Note: this report describes Team Grumpy's second ride in the Duo Normand (we have ridden each year from 2003, with the exception of 2006), and was originally published in the North Bucks Road Club Newsletter.
It was just before mid-day, the sun was directly overhead and the temperature had hit thirty. A couple flashes from the camera in front of us and then the countdown, cinq , quatre, trois, deux, une. We both focused on the road ahead that climbed out of the Normandy village of Marigny. The Duo Normand's motto is l'effort total. We didn't know it at that moment, but this would neatly sum up our race.
Back in March , Robert had emailed me to say he had entered us (again) for the Duo. I had mixed feelings about his unilateral action. After all, I had suffered terribly in 2003 and held him up in the process. It's one thing to have a bad race, but to ruin someone else's race is immeasurably worse and I still wasn't wholly over it. I suspect this is why Robert had gone ahead and entered us - knowing full well that I would probably have second thoughts. We could still have pulled out but, let's face it, it was far less likely once I saw our names on the Duo website.
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