Why do finish photos bend spokes?

Optical illusion or space aliens?

We know who won, but what about those spokes? How does that happen?

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?