Why do finish photos bend spokes?

By Gary Boulanger, US editor | Monday, April 27, 2009 9.44pm

What started as a mistakenly sent email has turned out to be a rather curious scientific oddity, based on a photo finish in Wisconsin last Saturday.

In the picture are Ricardo Otero and Patrick Flannery, sprinting for the finish line of the Muskego Spring Classic Masters 3/4 road race in southeastern Wisconsin on April 25. Otero has beaten Flannery by half a bike, but check out the distorted view of the spokes.

Anyone care to add their scientific two cents as to why the spokes appear to be upwardly mobile?

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