Australian Maxxis star Caroline Buchanan was pipped by just 0.008 seconds, prompting emotional scenes after the women's final at cycling's BMX world championships.
Silver medalist Buchanan charged at race leader Alise Post in the final straight but was beaten in a photo finish by the American fiancee of Australian Olympic medallist Sam Willoughby.
Post's victory set off a wave of emotion in the packed stadium in Rock Hill, South Carolina, as she embraced Willoughby in his wheelchair track side.
Willoughby was paralysed in a training accident last September and he and Post plan to marry on New Years Eve this year.
Maxxis rider Buchanan had cruised through to the final, dominating opponents including reigning world champion Mariana Pajon in the earlier rounds.
"A lot of my focus has been on mountain biking (this year) so it's been a little bit different preparation but I really felt good on my bike coming into this event," Buchanan said.
" Countless hours have been put into my preparation in the off season and post the RIO Olympic Games to prepare for this World Championship event"
"I won my quarter-final, won my semi-final and had first lane in the final. I got out really well, Alise came over and it's never over until the finish line.
"It was down to the wire, I couldn't believe it. I'm stoked for Alise, it's the first world championship that she has won."