Britain's Bradley Wiggins and Dutch teammate Michiel Elijzen won the annual Duo Normand on sunday.
The 26th edition of the race took place at the weekend in the beautiful French town of Marigny. Unlike last year the sun shone and the rain held off although the winds did pick up later in the day when the pros were in the start gate.
The Duo, which has a cult following amongst Brits (this year they made up at least a third of the field) as well the French, is a two man time trial that winds its way through 54.3km of fast roads taking in some of Normandy's sleepy villages and towns. The first half is fast and flat but it's worth holding back a little for the last 20km where the course turns lumpy.
This is not just a simple time trial race as people come to town, stay with the locals and it becomes a complete bike race festival with grandstands, food and fun. It certainly attracts riders from across the competitive scale from fun riders through to top juniors, ladies and pro elite riders, and there are tandems too. The racing kicks off at 8am and continues throughout the day with the pros showing how it's done late in the afternoon.
You only have to look at past winners of the elite category to see the Duo's pedigree. The current record is held by the pairing of Jens Voigt and Chris Boardman who completed the course in a staggering 1:04 back in 1999. In fact Boardman has been part of winning team three times.
This year saw some top riders take to the course such Gustav Larsson paired with Victor Pena and Eric Berges with Denis Robin but it was the mighty force from Cofidis that won the day, and their combined height in cider. Olympic track star Wiggins and Elijzen charged home in 1:07:15over two minutes ahead of their nearest rivals Robin and Berges. Another notable Brit in the mix was Rob Hales who partnered up with Dan Duguid and managed a very credible 17th in the elite field with a time of 1:15:16.
If you fancy joining in the fun next year more details can be found at www.duonormand.com.
Results DUO NORMAND 2007:
1 Bradley Wiggins/Michiel Elijzen 1-07-15
2 Eric Berges/Denis Robin 1-09-38
3 Gustav Larsson/Victor Hugo Pena 1-09-50
4 Martin Mortensen/Thomas Guldhammer 1-10-57
5 Jens Erik Madsen/Michael Tronberg 1-11-03
6 Kjetil Ingvaldsen/Havard Nybo 1-11-09
7 Florent Brard/Nicola Fritsch 1-11-49
8 Steven Van Vooren/Bruno De Poorter 1-12-25
9 Ondrej Sosenka/Jakub Novak 1-12-25
10 Lilian Jegou/Cyril Monnerais 1-12-26
17 Rob Hayles/Daniel Duguid 1-15-16
41Teddy Villette/Matthieu Guyomard 01:18:09
50 Gawronski Piotr /Typek Piotr 01:15:08
117 Simon Berogna/Ben Instone 01:15:41
146 Yoann Houstin/Yvonnick Roustiau 01:22:48
216 Philip Mason/Paul Brehaut 01:18:01
166 Julie Dheruelle/Emmanuelle Merlot 01:06:31
182 Karine Gautard/Florian Taillefer 01:22:37
240 Alexandre Bizet/Vincent Mignon 01:15:51
255 Andy Page/Dean Lubin 01:17:13
277 Alexis Lenoir/Benoît Legris 01:18:45
310 Paul Clements/Tim Rogers 01:20.59