The 24-year-old had ridden brilliantly in the Australian championships road race on Sunday, helping catch the breakaway group and then launching a solo charge inside the last 20km.
With Luke Durbridge chasing madly, Canty tore down the Buninyong finishing straight with one lap left in the 18-lap, 183.6km race.
Then Canty smiled at the motorbike camera and started pumping his fist.
He thought he had won - until officials rang the bell to signal it was one lap left.
Canty went on to finish seventh.
It was a moment of high drama in a race full of great moments, with Miles Scotson eventually making a bold solo attack to win.
"It's a long, hot day, but with a couple of laps to go you get a bit excited and things get out of hand a bit," Canty said.
"The feeling of thinking you might stay away is super-exciting. Then 'you have another lap to go' - the high and low of that, I can't really articulate that right now. It's going to be a little bit disappointing for me.
There's nothing to be ashamed of and I'm really proud of the way I rode today."
Canty, who has joined the WorldTour this year with Cannondale-Drapac, joins a long list of riders who have mistimed their laps.
Anyone who has raced a bike cringed on his behalf and Durbridge had plenty of sympathy for him.
"I saw him free-wheeling across the line and I thought 'I hope to God it's finished, because that would be great, but I know it's not'," Durbridge said.