The 2015 Rouge Roubaix

Last year, Argonaut Cycles, Brian Vernor and myself traveled from our cushy locales to the Deep South for one of the United States’ most unique races. Since 1999, the Rouge Roubaix has been a classic tough man’s race. Coming in around 100 miles, with approximately 3,000′ of elevation and 40 miles of loose, unforgiving dirt, this course challenges even the most experienced of cyclists.

Fast forward a year and we’re back. This time with three framebuilder teams and a women’s team from Boulder, Colorado. The course stayed mostly the same and the stage was set, with a new cast of characters. In the time since the last race, the event itself has grown. Larger sponsors came on board and yet, the roots of the race remain the same. I noticed an increase in internet chatter as everyone’s anticipation grew.

While this is hardly the last you’ll hear of this year’s race, or the builders and their teams, this gallery offers a unique vignette into a truly unique race. You’ll see true back-country roads, lots of dirt and dust, with all the pain and anguish of a truly difficult race. Expect coverage of each of the Rouge Roubaix Builders Challenge teams, as well as galleries of the bikes.

For now, enjoy this selection of photos…

  • Jon B.

    82 & 84 are rad.

  • Naz Hamid

    Last year’s photo set was my introduction to this race and this year’s photos are even better. 47, 60 and 64 are killer!

  • Pablo Castanon

    Awesome set as always senor!

  • Tommaso Gomez

    I misread the title as the Gorge Roubaix (which is coming up, here in Oregon) and then got really confused by the Louisiana scenery. Great set, looking forward to the captions.

  • Jaap

    Loving the Mavic cannondale bikes

  • DPlotAdmin

    Very nicely done. Thanks for sharing.

  • Tony Clifton

    With all those backcountry Louisiana shots, I was half expecting to see Detectives Cohle and Hart snooping around…

    • David

      Rouge-Roubaix is a flat circle.

  • Salim Riley
    • Morgan Cole

      That’s Brian Toone, I think. I follow him on Strava. Probably rode over from Birmingham right into the race. He is an animal.

      • Kyle Campbell

        That’s definitely Brian. And yes, he is always in the drops. He is also an absolute freak. Nice guy. Possibly spends more time in the saddle than anyone in the world, seriously. Birmingham’s own little local legend.

  • Brett Rothmeyer

    the group coming over the bridge with the fog in the trees, super

  • Eric Hancock

    This is a great set. Really gives a sense of the place and the course.

    How many people were shooting?

    • John Watson

      Just me…

  • Eric Hancock

    Wow. Impressive. You were all over the place.

    • John Watson

      Two cameras, a kick-ass driver and a sharp navigator. I knew where I needed to be, when and had shots planned out. It was still one of the hardest shoots I’ve ever done. I’m so tired!

      • Sean Curran

        it was worth it, great work

      • Will Jones

        Thank you so much. These are great, my only regret is that we didn’t get the RR flag up next to the American flag at Pond store as we had planned.

        • John Watson

          THAT would have been amazing.

  • David

    Great pics John. Even just the Gran Fondo version the day before is an absolute bucket list ride.

  • upppeeee

    Awesome shoot john

  • Hollis Duncan

    Stinner kit A+

  • Keith Gibson

    Argonaut Kits FTW

  • Devin Parker

    Great Stuff!

  • Dillan Forsey

    Could also be called Beard-Roubaix. Haha. Awesome set! Love that you were able to capture the race as well as the small details/lifestyle surrounding it. As always, attention to lighting is fantastic (that mandolin shot especially).

  • Stuart Hetherington


  • bgav

    Great pics John, I can practically taste the dust, blood, sweat, beer and jambalaya.

  • EmaBen

    Somehow outdid last year’s set… Great shots!

  •!/mono_fitz Stephen Fitz

    Gorgeous gallery. After three years of “maybe”, it’s time to saddle up and head down next year.

  • Aaron Viles

    Fantastic images of an amazing day. Thanks for helping spread the word about this epic race. Guess I need to cat up next year for a shot at a shot (hoping to avoid the bloody & battered portrait, a la Kenny B, above).