Lauren RR 2

Photo courtesy of Rouge Roubaix

Photo courtesy of Rouge Roubaix

For those unfamiliar with the Rouge Roubaix— it’s 103 miles of sandy gravel, dirt, chip-seal, steep climbs, and bad roads all in the heat and humidity of Louisiana. It’s a relentless course, truly making it a hard-woman’s race.

There are 3 main gravel sections. The first section is at mile 25, and is 7 miles long with some rolling hills. This is where the race exploded. By the time we reached the pavement, there were 7 women left in the field. We got into a rotating pace-line to keep the speed high.

The 7 of us made it to the 2nd gravel section at mile 60, which included the infamous Blockhouse Hill Climb. Every year, a guy stands at the top of the climb with a $100 bill. Turns out I can be a climber when there’s cash involved. I grabbed the money, looked back and saw there was still one rider with me- Kristen Legan, a fellow Boulderite.

We descended through some loose sand and mud– my 25 mm Vittoria tubulars gave me a lot of traction, and contact going through those gnarly sections. We came out of the gravel together, traded pulls, and came up on the long drag heading towards Angola State Prison in Mississippi.

Photo courtesy of Rouge Roubaix

Photo courtesy of Rouge Roubaix

Photo courtesy of Rouge Roubaix

This is where I got away solo, and spent the next 35 miles questioning the meaning of life, contemplating my life decisions, and reciting lyrics to Drake’s new album. It gets lonely out there. In the final dirt section, there was a climb so steep that I was going 3 mph. The scenery of Mississippi and Louisiana had me thinking a lot about the Walking Dead, so I pretended I was being chased by zombies up the climb. Totally worked. Didn’t even have to dismount.

The last 10 miles, I blocked out of my mind. All could think of was Doc’s Skincare Saddle Sore Cream. The gravel is relentless…..

Crossing the finish line was amazing. Not only did I get my first win of the season, I was DONE. I laid down on the ground and waited for life to return to my body. #soblown

Thanks to all the volunteers and race organizers who put on this epic race! If you haven’t done the Rouge Roubaix, you’re missing out on one hell of a bike race.

By Lauren DeCrescenzo – DNA pb/K4

Photo courtesy of Rouge Roubaix

Kristen Legan, Lauren De Crescenzo, Meredith Miller – Photo courtesy of Rouge Roubaix

Kristen Legan, Lauren De Crescenzo, Meredith Miller – Photo courtesy of Rouge Roubaix

2015 Rouge Roubaix Women’s Results