Durbridge and Tuft close season with win in Normand

Luke Dubridge has closed-out his debut season in the professional ranks with a victory for his Orica-GreenEdge team at the Duo Normand two-man time trial in France. The Australian neo-pro was joined by Canadian national TT champion Svein Tuft.

The powerful duo crushed the competition, taking the win by 1:03 over Sky’s Alex Dowsett and Luke Rowe. It marked Durbridge’s seventh TT win of the year in which he also took the overall at Tour du Poitou Charentes and Circuit de la Sarthe - Pays de la Loire.

"It’s a unique event in that it’s the only two-man time trial we race during the entire season," said Durbridge "It’s a good event for me and Svein. We’ve both had really good seasons, and we’re happy to have finished it off this way."

The Orica-GreenEdge team had hoped to set a new course record but fell short by a little over 30 seconds. Jens Voigt and Chris Boardman still hold the fastest time for the 54.5km course with a time of 1:04:47.

"Unfortunately both Svein and I were sick last week, so we came into the race a bit cooked. It’s the last race of the season for us both, so we dug as deep as we could. We wanted to end things this way.

"Svein rode strong today, said Durbridge. "I took 1:30-2:00 pulls. His turns were longer by about a minute. [Sports Director] Lionel [Marie] kept us updated on radio times, so we knew we were putting time in on Sky."

It was the fourth win of the year for Tuft who won the opening stage of the Eneco Tour and wore the leader’s jersey for a day in August. Tuft and Durbridge were both part of the bronze-medal winning team at the world championships TTT.

"Since Eneco Tour, Svein and I have had the same race program," explained Durbridge. "We both trained for the team time trial and individual time trial, which was enough time trial training to get us through this event. It’s been only ten days since Worlds, and neither of us have touched our time trial bikes since then until this morning."

"I fly home to Australia on Tuesday. It’s been a great year."

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