Tom Pidcock has said the photo finish of the 2021 Amstel Gold Race has created more questions than answers, after Wout van Aert beat him by the smallest of margins, and that photo finishes should be “100 per cent accurate”.
After a breathtaking finale, which saw the two cyclocross stars go off the front of the group of favourites alongside Max Schachmann, then sprinting for the line as the chase closed in behind, Pidcock and Van Aert were left to wait for what seemed like an eternity while the official result was verified.
An official from the UCI showed television cameras the photo finish on his phone, with Van Aert’s wheel ahead of Pidcock’s, just before the broadcast cut off, the official result then coming through on Twitter a few minutes later.
While Pidcock said after the finish that he regrets not starting his sprint earlier, as he believed he was faster than Van Aert in the final, the young Brit has now had his say on the photo finish in a tweet that has since been deleted.
“There’s been a lot of speculation on Twitter. A photo finish is used to verify a result. However yesterday’s photo seems to have created more questions than have been answered,” Pidcock said in the deleted tweet. “This isn’t correct, photo finishes should be 100 per cent accurate and should be in the future.”
Different photo angles alleging to show different outcomes were poured over on Twitter following the race, understandable when the actual winning margin was just 0.004 seconds, but no investigation or concerns over the legitimacy of the photo finish have been raised.
Others pointed out that Pidcock had left his bottle in the cage, maybe having missed a specified litter zone and not wanting to risk disqualification by discarding it outside of the area. While Pidcock said he wished he hadn’t given Van Aert a gap in the final, could the bottle have made the 0.004 seconds of difference?
Pidcock will next race at Flèche Wallonne, while Van Aert won’t line up again until the Critérium du Dauphiné ahead of the Tour de France.