The 2012 commemorative print by artist Alex Harvie eerily captures the experience of this year’s Rouge Roubaix. When race organizer Mitch Evans arrived at Saturday’s registration he had just finished clearing the last bridge near mile 100; one of several crossings that had been washed out by the previous day’s flash floods. In the parking lot, some riders were swapping out the pedals on their carbon road bikes to accommodate their mountain bike shoes. Trying to strike a balance between speed and durability, riders of the Rouge Roubaix were well aware that Mother Nature would test their endurance and their equipment over the 106 miles of every type of terrain that one can imagine. For an illustration of the course in words, Helena, Alabama rider Scott Thigpen shared an entertaining article that will give you all the gruesome details (horseflies included) here.
Despite the mud and the debris, the wet dirt roads allowed racers to put up some fast times on our two Strava segments: Woodstock Road and Blockhouse Hill. Racers Samantha Stein and Brian Toone (Strava’s 2011 KOM Challenge Winner) won both of the segment challenges and as a result they will each receive one free year of Strava Premium and a full Strava kit. Congratulations to all race participants for weathering through the elements! Thanks to “y’all” for the southern hospitality and keep those wheels up.