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Tom Pidcock was beaten to Amstel Gold victory by Wout van Aert following a barely-discernable photo finish.

The 21-year-old Briton, who races for Ineos Grenadiers, appeared to round Belgian star Wout van Aert in the final sprint for the line in the Netherlands.

Organisers took 15 minutes, studying a digitally enhanced photo, before giving Jumbo-Visma rider Van Aert the victory.

Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish took his fourth sprint win of the Tour of Turkey in Sunday’s finale.

The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider had not won a race for nearly three years but the victories herald a major return to form.

Pidcock beat Van Aert, 26, to victory in the Brabantse Pijl classic on Wednesday with a similar move just before the line to the one seen in Sunday’s race in the Limburg area.

The 219km race is one of cycling’s biggest one-day classic races of the season, and saw Pidcock continue the blistering form he has shown in his first season on the World Tour with Ineos.

After 12 laps containing three short and steep climbs, Pidcock and Van Aert broke away from their rivals, along with Germany’s Max Schachmann of Bora-Hansgrohe, with around 6km remaining.

After some cat-and-mouse defensive riding, the trio began to sprint with 200m left, with Schachmann leaving Pidcock and Van Aert to fight it out – the Briton powering around Van Aert just as he did four days earlier, but this time he was unable to cross the line first.

Unusually there was a wait of around 15 minutes before the winner was declared by organisers as they surveyed the digital image used to decide the races.

Races are often decided on a photo finish, but it is usually evident from the official digital image who the victor is.

The Netherlands’ Marianne Vos won Sunday’s Amstel Gold women’s race for Jumbo-Visma despite looking concerned she had lost it by celebrating too early when SD Worx’s Demi Vollering lunged for the line.

Annemiek Van Vleuten was third for Movistar, meaning an all-Dutch podium.

At 35, Cavendish is one of cycling’s most successful sprinters, with 30 Tour de France stage wins, and it was thought he had lost much of his pace.

But in a tense run-in following 160km of racing from Bodrum to Kusadasi, Cavendish proved doubters wrong for the fourth time in a week.

In the final few kilometres he sat behind his sprint rivals – Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen of Alpecin-Fenix and Andre Greipel of Israel Start-Up Nation – then came up behind Philipsen and tore past him just before the line, his bike wobbling beneath him with the effort.

“We had an amazing week, we really enjoyed ourselves and taking my 150th pro victory as part of this incredible team is just the cherry on the cake,” said Cavendish.

Delko’s Jose Manuel Diaz won the race’s overall turquoise jersey.

The Tour of Turkey is in the second division of elite cycling below the top-tier World Tour events, but many now believe Cavendish is capable of playing a part in some of the biggest races this season.

His team are yet to rule out involvement in this year’s Tour de France or the other Grand Tour races.

Cavendish is just four stage wins from equalling cycling great Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 Tour victories.

SOURCE: BBC Sport – Cycling RSS   (go to source)
AUTHOR: By Matt Warwick
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