In sporting parlance it's just like kissing your sister.
After a gruelling 140km ride in the annual Taupo to Napier Cycling Classic on Saturday, four riders were locked together at 3hr 47min 13sec across the finish line of the senior men's race.
Nothing seemed to separate Sam Horgan (Subway), Josh Page (Avanti-Plus) Dion Smith (North Harbour) and Aaron Strong (Auckland) from each other ... until closer scrutiny.
A photo finish, backed by video footage posted on Facebook, showed Horgan, of Christchurch, just had it over Hastings rider Page.
"There was only half a wheel in it. Sam definitely had Josh covered," timing manager and cycling coach Ivar Hopman, of Hawke's Bay, said last night.
Initially there were five in the leading bunch with Simon Binney in the mix, but the group shook off Hawke's Bay Ramblers Cycling Club rider Page at the Staircase, about 6km from the finish line at Puketapu School behind Taradale, Napier.
Hopman said Page dug deep to claw his way back but Binney, who eventually finished 5th on a time of 3:47:54, dropped off.
"From there they came chasing down with probably 100th of a second separating one from another.
"It's quite amazing when you think about it because there's 1537m of hill climbing over the 140km ride," he said after the riders began their campaign from the fire station on Rifle Range Rd in Taupo City.
Hopman said Page had "never won the classic and was never so close".
Smith was third and Strong fourth.
Tim Gudsell won the classic last year and the year before Jeremy Yates, now retired and living in Christchurch, was the last Bay rider to win the title.
Page wrote on Facebook: "I was so stoked. I wanted to win the Taupo to Napier Classic for years.
"Unfortunately Sam Horgan was just a bit too fast at the end but second is pretty cool."
Teenager Georgia Williams of Greenhithe comfortably clinched the senior women's title with a time of 4:02:26, from fellow Auckland Toni (nee Bradshaw, wife of Aaron) Strong (4:13:13) while Page's wife, Kerri-anne Page (nee Torckler) settled for third place with a time of 4:20:57.
Ex-Hub Cycling bike mechanic Craig Lawn, of Wellington, won the veteran men's title with a time of 3:57:49.