Benoit Cosnefroy has criticised the Amstel Gold Race jury, claiming there is no reason why they couldn't have waited for an official photo finish before wrongly announcing him as the winner.
Official race radio immediately announced Cosnefroy as the winner of the Amstel Gold Race, only for the verdict to be rightly overturned a minute or so later once the race jury had further inspected the photo finish. Ineos Grenadiers rider Michał Kwiatkowski was subsequently handed the win, with the photo finish showing him crossing the line first by just a few inches.
The Frenchman took the agonising news very well, congratulating Kwiatkowski for proving too strong for him in the final sprint. However, he still made it clear the race jury should have studied the photo finish before announcing him as the initial winner.
"Based on the finish photo there is no discussion," Cosnefroy admitted. "But they should have waited better for that photo."
“With the technical resources available today, you would expect them to immediately identify the right winner. Last year [referring to the sprint between Pidcock and Van Aert] it was also narrow, but they did wait for the photo finish. They would have done better now.
“I don't really understand why they've been so fast. This is a blatant mistake, because the photo finish clearly shows that Kwiatkowski was the first to cross the finish line. Now, I just have to make peace with this. What can I say to it? Kwiatkowski didn't steal the win, did he. He was the first to attack. Hats off to his performance."
Despite the obvious disappointment at narrowly missing out on the Classic win, the Ag2r Citroën rider managed to perfectly control his emotions and put the situation into perspective. Speaking shortly after the race, he seemed genuinely happy to finish second, claiming there isn't much else he could have done to stop Kwiatkowski from edging his wheel in front.
"You lose a lot in cycling and I lost today," Cosnefroy said, "but I really enjoyed this Amstel Gold Race. If I'm going to cry about a podium at Amstel, I should stop cycling. For sure I’d have preferred to win. But when you step on the podium it’s still a big moment in a career.
“I rode an almost perfect race. I put myself in a winning position but unfortunately I came across someone who was stronger than me in the sprint, and that’s part of the game."
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