What's Cool In Road Cycling

Did Wout Really Win Amstel? The Evidence

Is Tom Pidcock the real Amstel winner?

I believe the photo finish camera was incorrectly placed during the Amstel Gold race, which lead to the longer than usual time to confirm the race winner from the photo finish. I am reaching out to a number of contacts with my evidence, but if you are able to please pass this on to Tom, Ineos, race organisers, I believe Tom may have in fact been the winner and that an investigation should take place.

– Contributed by PEZ-Fan Tom Lynch –

Evidence:

Firstly, from the photo-finish we can see this:

amstel

The background signage from the line is white, green and yellow from bottom to top. The greys below that are shadows under the barrier, then the road (as the white finishing bands do not extend to the barriers as can be seen in the below image) and then the finishing lines.

amstel

Due to the way photo-finish cameras work where each pixel is a moment in time, it is clear the photo-finish is aimed across one of the white finishing bands.

In the UCI specs for organisers doc: www.uci.org/docs it states:

amstel

And it also shows a schematic for positioning of the photo-finish camera, just before the black 4cm finish line:

amstel

There is also a further doc showing how to align the camera and it should be <2cm in front of the black line. However, in this case I believe it was >50cm in front of the black finishing line. Here is why:

In the photo finish we can see the barriers are white, yellow and green, which we can match up on this finishing angle shot:

amstel

And in the women’s earlier in the day (slightly better lighting on the Radler advertising sign in question):

amstel

As the women’s photo has better light I’ve worked with that.

Due to the colours in the background of the photo finish going White at the bottom, then green then yellow it means the camera must have been set up between these two lines:

amstel

As the white bands are 72cm wide as defined in the UCI specs for organisers, it shows the camera is at least 50cm too early, which gives Tom Pidcock 50cm of extra face to make up the 1 tyre length he was shown to lose by in the photo finish. Due to his greater speed, I believe he would have achieved this and therefore was first to cross the black line.

However, Van Aert was handed the win due to the incorrect placement of the photo finish camera.

amstel

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