To the uninitiated, the simple farm tracks of the Nord Pas-de-Calais region are unremarkable: narrow, rutted, cobblestone lanes mostly plied by tractors. Slicked with a greasy, muddy film; a menace to oil pans, tires, and suspension, you’d never drive them, much less ride a bicycle over them. But one weekend a year, they are transformed into a high church of bike racing, as tens of thousands of fans make the pilgrimmage to Paris-Roubaix. Even as the tension builds throughout the week, the roads remain mostly quiet, rural silence broken only by the occasional staccato rumble of tires on cobbles as teams stretch their legs and scout the course. Photographers Ashley and Jered Gruber joined the EF Education-Easypost team for its recon. Come along for a quieter, more intimate look at the iconic course of a race like no other.