Dijon mountain biker Lhenry wins Red Hook Crit after Celso claims first women’s title.

Daniel McMahon / Chris Henry

Démare. Bouhanni. Pinot. Péraud. Bardet.

They say these riders are bringing French cycling back to the world stage after years of drought.

In a small pocket of New York City on Saturday night, Thibaud Lhenry did his part for France.

A mountain biker from Dijon, Lhenry overcame abysmal weather to triumph in the seventh Red Hook Criterium, outclassing some of the best fixed-gear street racers around.

After 15 laps of racing in relentless, cold rain and wind, Lhenry prevailed.

“I had good sensations,” Lhenry told peloton magazine. “I really like the rain, which for me was an advantage.”

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Having broken away with another rider, Alessandro Bruzza, late in the race, Lhenry opened a gap on Bruzza in the final hairpin and held it to the line.

Just behind Bruzza, defending champion Neil Bezdek led home a select group to take third.

It was Lhenry’s third participation in the Red Hook Crit series. Last year he took fourth in Barcelona and eighth in Milano.

Lhenry started racing fixed-gear bikes just a year ago, he told peloton. But he’s an experienced mountain biker who has competed at World Cups and in French national championships.

Lhenry won the seventh Red Hook Crit aboard a custom-made bamboo bike that a friend built especially for him.

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Thibaud had flown to New York City just to do this race, and he was pleased he finally got a win in the event’s birthplace, Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood.

“I was here to win and that’s done,” he said. “Je suis très content.”

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Before the men’s event, Jo Celso out-sprinted a select group to win the inaugural women’s race, which had to be stopped and restarted after a late crash.

Liz So and Ash Duban finished second and third, respectively.

Lauren Penney and Haile Memdesha won their respective women’s and men’s 5K running races.

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Results
Men
1. Thibaud Lhenry
2. Alessandro Bruzza
3. Neil Bezdek
4. Zachary Felpel
5. Mario Paz Duque
6. Scott Piercefield
7. Walton Brush
8. Evan Murphy
9. Kyle Perry
10. Pablo Rodriguez

Women
1. Jo Celso
2. Liz So
3. Ash Duban
4. Hannah Todd
5. Jen Nordhem
6. Katie Arnold
7. Sophia Lee
8. Kelli Samuelson
9. Meisin Yan
10. Erica Schwanke

Complete results here.