Way too close to call: Never a dead heat at road worlds till Wednesday

With a record of making history, Taylor Phinney hits another milestone by becoming the first joint winner of a medal in the history of any world road championships.

UCI Road World Championships U23 Road Race: Phinney and Boivin don't seem to mind sharing a medal.
UCI Road World Championships U23 Road Race: Phinney and Boivin don't seem to mind sharing a medal.

Wednesday’s Under 23 Men’s Road Race not only created history for being witness to the first Australian winner of that event, but also for the tie for third place between American Taylor Phinney and Guillame Bouvin of Canada.

For what seemed like an eternity after Michael Matthew’s clear-cut victory, Tissot timing officials deliberated over the dead heat before declaring that not even breaking the photo down to individual pixels could establish a clear winner.

It is the first time in the history of any road world championships that a tie has been recorded, and for Phinney, he becomes the sixth rider in history to medal in both events in the Under 23 category.

“I gave it a big lunge to the line and really didn’t think I had gotten third,” said Phinney. “It was pretty interesting moments after the finish, just kind of sitting there, like, ‘Really, you don’t know if I got third or not?’” he said, still looking bemused at the press conference.

“Before the race began we knew Guillaume had a chance to win,” veteran Steve Bauer said from his home in Canada. “I am sure he will be reviewing this last kilometer in his mind until next year’s worlds.”

Officials also seemed a bit flummoxed when it came to the procedures to be used on the podium. With three flag poles and four honorees, the solution finally achieved was that the pole normally reserved for the bronze medal winner would carry neither the Maple Leaf nor the Stars-and-Stripes. Instead, the UCI’s own flag was raised in honor of the two North American medal winners. – Casey B. Gibson contributed to this report.