The overseas newcomers certainly did themselves proud at last year’s TT, all circulating
at increasingly fast speeds, resulting in many solid mid-field positions. One of the new breed
of such competitors arriving on the Island with much potential was Serge Nuques, born in 1971
in the south of France.
Serge’s first exploits into two-wheeled sport was with enduro, becoming French Champion
in 1994. His achievements are impressive – winner of the Gilles Lalay Classic Enduro,
a two-day event in the centre of the country; he also won the Off Road Eurosport challenge
of 2003 and finished second in the Moto Tour, the longest French rally, during which routes
through the countryside are negotiated for an epic ten days. He then won this rally in 2004 and
2005, being French Motorcycle Rally Champion in the former year and runner-up in the
It was always his dream to race around the Isle of Man TT Course, so, with the necessary
road racing experience he entered last summer’s event. With his very distinctive riding
style, developed through his enduro racing, he rode superbly to three fine finishes – 38th in
the TT Superbike, 61st in Supersport A and finally 32nd in the Senior TT, at an average race
speed of over 112mph, just missing out on a Bronze Replica and beating many seasoned
Serge’s distinctive riding style is equalled by his distinctive riding attire…his armourlike
leathers, the bike fairing painted as if it was a horse clad in armour and then of course the
flag fluttering above the tent in the paddock, a tent attached to which is a knight’s sword. Why?
Well, since 2004, Serge has raced under the colours of the Presipality of Groland... the what?
The Presipality of Groland is a fictional country featured in various humorous programmes
on French television channel, Canal Plus. It is a vague parody of France and of European
micro-states. The land locked nation, described as ‘presipality’, a pun on ‘principality’ and
’president’, consists of several regions – Upper Groland, Lower Groland, Side Groland and
Other Side Groland – the capital being Groville and provinces going by the names of
Grugny, Muffin, Maroufle and Vichumes. The country, the motto of which is “Joie,
hospitalite, lachete”, Joy, hospitality, poltroonery, remained neutral during World War one, is famous for soldiers
on leave, with its cheap alcohol and prostitutes. During the Second World War, the country’s
leadership collaborated with the military occupier, before being liberated by the Americans.
The most recent presidential elections took place in 2001 with only one candidate, President
Christophe Salengro and only one elector, the President who, consequently, was elected with
100% of the votes. Groland has a continuous television channel, CANAL International, a
lear parody of CNN; its police department is known as GROPD, approximately translated, means
‘big faggot’ in French.
Serge clearly identifies with this cult TV show and so has been nominated as a ‘Notable
Honorary Groland Citizen’ by his friends, hence his appearance on the TT Presentation stage
wearing a knight’s costume!
Serge’s racing career is moving on apace, a 2006 contract with the Decibels 33 team,
meaning that commitment to the Le Mans and Barcelona 24 Hour races and the Bol d’Or classic
will prevent him from participating in this year’s TT. However, Serge wants to continue his
dream and will return to race again round the Mountain Course in the near future. Serge, like
all members of the French contingent at the TT was saddened by the untimely death of Bruno
Bonhuil at Macau. Bruno, who revelled in the competition of road circuits, was held in high
regard by Serge who remembers him once telling his racing friends, “I prefer to live intensively
for my passion, rather than die in front of a small fire sitting in my armchair”. Serge says “we will
all miss him hugely and the paddock will be much the emptier without him”.