Cycling’s a strange discipline. In what other sport would it be perfectly normal to describe a string of second-places in high profile events as “a problem“. In cycling, while three athletes get to ascend the podium, there’s the winner, and then there’s everybody else.
It’s almost better for everyone if the win is a “no one else in the photo” affair. The victor gets a moment to formulate a fun salute and show off the sponsors, while the rider behind him takes the battle for second, rather than losing the sprint for first.