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With three laps to go Austin Horse took to the front of pack. Coming off a recent win at Monster Track, the New York messenger was poised for another victory—but by the time the peloton hit the last lap he had given up his lead. “I burned everything I had to get there.” As Horse fell back another NYC local was on the attack. Neil Bezdek surged forward in the last stretch, flying in across the finish line in a flash.

“There’s no race where you spend the whole race fighting the whole time,” said Evan Murphy, who trailed mere inches behind Bezdek, followed closely by Walton Brush. “When you’re racing, every single thing in your life just falls away.”

Standing on the podium, Bezdek laughs and smiles next to Murphy and Brush. Bezdek stuffs his cash prize in the back of his red champion’s jersey, his face wet with champagne and bearing a wide smile, and holds up the prize Cinelli bike and laughs heartily, happily. This night marks his third RHC win, and an especially sweet one following a crash during RHC Milan last fall that left him unable to finish that day.

“I knew he wanted it more than anyone else,” Trimble said of Bezdek’s win. “There was a lot of people coming into the event that I thought were maybe even a higher caliber of a rider than Neil, but none of them wanted it as much as him.”