If you were watching the men’s elite race at the UCI Road World Championships yesterday, you’ll have been one of the millions of TV viewers worldwide who were left frustrated when the TV feed disappeared with just 4 kilometres remaining – but now, footage posted online that was shot from a helicopter shows you what you missed.
When the pictures were lost, the 267.5-kilometre race was finely poised, with France’s Julian Alaphilippe riding away from fellow attacker Gianni Moscon of Italy (subsequently disqualified for taking an extended tow from his team car after a crash).
With no images from motorbikes or helicopters, the TV picture cut to the fixed cameras within the final kilometre, with viewers having to wait for three minutes or so for the riders to emerge and see who would battle it out for the win – just like being there in person was an observation several people made on Twitter.
The missing four minutes or so ahead of the sprint to the line, where Peter Sagan of Slovakia beat Norway’s Alexander Kristoff to take the race for an unprecedented third time in a row remained a blank until helicopter footage emerged yesterday evening.
— CyclingHub (@CyclingHubTV) September 24, 2017
Olav Sandnes, head of host broadcaster TV2, said: “It's incredibly sad, and we're really sorry. Fortunately we got the last kilometre, but before that we should have received signals from a very exciting attack.”
He explained that the problem was a power cut on the city’s Mount Fløyen, where a TV mast is located.
"We are very disappointed about it,” he continued. “I feel that our production has worked excellently throughout the World Championship. We’ve had amazing pictures from Bergen.
“We are clearly sorry that we do not succeed with the whole race. We kept going until there were three minutes left, but then we blew up. We’re very sorry.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.