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Winning by a Single Pixel with Robbie

July 20, 2015

Robbie knows a thing or two about photo finishes, that sense of uncertainty all too familiar from his own racing days. But how does the technology actually work, and how do they decide who wins when it just seems too close to call?

Above the finish line sits the Timing and Photo Finish Box. Robbie chats to Bruno who has one of the most important jobs of the Tour: controlling the proceedings as the lead riders cross the line, harnessing three powerful cameras to capture the precise moment the race is won. Each camera takes 5000(!) pictures per's fair to say they don't miss much. Two cameras are dedicated to providing data to the race officials while the third is just for television broadcasts.

The photos are then manually read by Bruno and the other analysts. It takes less than a minute to determine the positions of the first 21 across the line, and only five minutes to place the entire pack.

We've all found ourselves calling "baloney" at the television, thinking the cameras got it wrong. But in truth, the cameras are a lot better than our eyes, capable of analyzing each image down to a single pixel, which, depending on the riders speed is only a few millimeters across.

Think you called it better? The pixels don't lie.

See more of Robbie's exclusive Tour de France vids here:

Talking Trek with Fabian Cancellara and Gregory Rast at the #barewitness launch

Robbie and Rohan predict yellow on Stage 1

Ice, Ice, Baby - keeping cool

Mini Paris Roubaix Delivers "BikeExchange"

Post Race Bedlam

What's up with Cav?

Robbie Talks Tour Data

Granny Gears

Descending in the Wet with Robbie

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