Caleb Ewan has called into question the photo finish decision that saw him place second at the GP Monseré on Sunday.
The 1.1-ranked Belgian one-day race came down to a bunch sprint in Roeselare, contested on the line by the Lotto-Dstny rider and Intermarché-Circus-Wanty’s Gerben Thijssen.
The sprint was so tight that it appeared the honours were initially given to Ewan. The Australian recorded a winner’s interview after the race, before the images were reviewed and Thijssen was declared the victor.
Later that evening, Ewan tweeted a photo that seemed to show his front wheel crossing the line first. “I kinda think I won,” he wrote. “Thoughts?”
I kinda think I won. Thoughts? pic.twitter.com/Oaa2sK9obJMarch 5, 2023
Among those who responded to the Australian’s tweet was the newly-crowned Strade Bianche champion Tom Pidcock, who offered a simple eye-roll emoji. In 2021, the Brit lost out to Wout van Aert in an astonishingly close-called Amstel Gold Race, with Pidcock later saying the photo finish imagery “created more questions than have been answered”.
Continuing to question the GP Monseré decision, Ewan went on to tweet a different angle of the sprint, again appearing to show him as the winner. “Here’s another one,” he wrote. “If anyone’s got a photo of big G clearly beating me it would actually make me feel a bit better to be honest.”
Here’s another one. If anyone’s got photo of big G clearly beating me it would actually make me feel a bit better to be honest🙈 pic.twitter.com/Zko46pUQI6March 5, 2023
Although not initially shown on the race broadcast, the photo finish image later emerged online, but appeared heavily pixelated and inconclusive. According to UCI rules, photo finish equipment, including an electronic timing strip, is obligatory in all UCI road events, be that at WorldTour level or third tier 1.1 races.
In a press release shared today (opens in new tab), the organisers of the GP Monseré said they were “happy” with the race podium.
The press release continued: “Understandably, a lot of attention afterwards went to the photo finish that was supposed to determine the winner.
“As the organizer we have no responsibility for the organization of this finish line and the finish photo. This task should be done by the Belgian Cycling Federation and the UCI.”
Speaking after Sunday’s race, Ewan said: “Of course, it’s never nice to lose on a photo finish. This is disappointing but we keep on…
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