2020 Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards: The judges’ shortlists

by CyclingTips


The 2020 Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards closed a few days ago.

We received hundreds of incredible submissions from around the world – truly some of the best cycling stories and images from what was an incredibly difficult year for millions of people all over the world.

The Awards are a showcase for the talented entrant photographers, but they have another important purpose – raising money for cancer research for Tour de Cure.

Now that entries are closed, it’s over to our panel of judges — Kristof Ramon, Tim Bardsley-Smith, and Jered & Ashley Gruber — to decide who’s going to be awarded the Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards. Plus Graham Watson returns as our honorary judge to select his top ten in the Amateur category.

Each of the judges have gone through the difficult task of shortlisting their top ten images from each of the categories. To eliminate any possibility of bias, they’re not able to see the name of the photographer.

The judges will bring these shortlists to a judging call early next week, where over several hours, they’ll deliberate on the top three of each category. Final winners will be announced soon after.

[Editor’s Note: Some images will appear on multiple occasions as they made more than one judge’s shortlist.]

Kristof Ramon’s shortlist

Kristof Ramon is a staple in the pro cycling tour scene. He hails from Belgium, the heartland of road racing, where cycling is in the blood.

Kristof describes himself as a storyteller; of everything from race, to the pro cyclists, and the scenes behind a race.

Kristof returns as a Judge in 2020 — he was a judge in the inaugural Awards — and in the years in between, he has entered the awards and either been shortlisted or awarded a prize.

Professional Category

‘LOCKDOWN. That moment of 2020 when everyone had to stop. With this photo, I’m sure many cyclists will be reflected by their days of being confined at home and where they spent hours and hours on their trainers. I portrait some cyclists, without moving from home, via video call, to tell them how to configure their cameras, to take the picture that I had in mind. All the photos had a common thread between them by the light that came from their screens and that illuminated their “pain cave”.’ 

Photo by Albert Gallego (@brazodehierro).
“Post race exhausted — Trek-Segafredo riders Emils Liepins and Quin Simmons. This photograph illustrates a summary of the year 2020… Hope for better times in 2021.” Dwars door het Hageland’ (Belgium August 2020). 

Photo by Rhode Van Elsen (@rhode_photo).
“A rain storm of biblical proportions hit the peloton as it ascended the Picollo Stelvio in the Gran Trittico Lombardo, challenging conditions for both riders and photographer, a compromise between not ruining your equipment but getting the shot.”

Photo by Chris Auld (@cauldphoto).
“Denmark’s men’s team pursuiters shattering the world record at UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin, Germany, 2020. The new Worlds best time on 4km track is 3:44.672 min.”

Photo by Michal Cerveny @michalcervenyphoto).
“Olympic and World Champion Elinor Barker of Great Britain in action during the inaugural UCI Cycling eSports World Championships from her home in Manchester, England.”

Photo by Alex Whitehead (@alex_swpix).
“The perfect line. Mathieu van der Poel is truly an exceptional rider with outstanding bike skills. To see him finding the perfect line is an impressive show. At the World Championship 2020 in Duebendorf (Switzerland) i aimed for this minimalistic shot from a bridge, reduced on Mathieu van der Poel and these lines in the mud. For me this image represents the beauty and demands of this sport, combined with maybe the best rider in the world.”

Photo by Marcel Hilger (@marcelhilger ).
“Italian cycling fans are some of the most passionate, an image that would make any Tifosis heart swell with pride, seeing World ITT Champion, Filippo Ganna riding past a giant Tricolori flag in the Giro d’Italia.”

Photo by Chris Auld (@cauldphoto).
“All weathers. Wales’ answer to Sa Calobra. A closed road and only one way up, it’s a short but brutal climb, featuring some of the few Switchbacks available in Britain and halting when you reach the Dam at the top. Shooting for Ribble Cycles, we were met with sun, hail, snow, wind, rain and finally an immensely atmospheric and chilly descent.”

Photo by Luis Alcantarilla (@eltoromediadotcom).
“Pre-covid media scrum around Wout Van Aert after the finish of the men elite race at the Cyclocross World Championships in Dübendorf.”

Photo by Francesco Rachello (@strict).
“Like a mother’s hands. Marco safely supports Mattia’s head after a bad crash during the provincial Championship at the Maspes-Vigorelli Velodrome in Milan. Mattia was taken to hospital and he needed to be monitored for 24 hours for a suspected head injury, fortunately without serious consequences.” 

Photo by Emanuele Barbaro (@emanuele__barbaro).

Amateur Category

‘This is an iconic spot in Montreal city. It’s our biggest hill called Camilien Houde. I ride their almost 2 times a week on my bike with friends. I had a tone of pictures of it but during this morning ride everything was align for me. The sun, the position of my friends on their bikes etc. Important note on this one: I was climbing a 10% hill on my bike holding my Canon 5D IV and a 24-70 lens. That was a heavy setup.’ 

Photo by Julien Payette-Tessier (@payette).
“I often ride just to catch the sun rise. I always find it inspiring. I hope this self portrait can inspire others.”

Photo by Ron Short (@shortcycles).
“No roaring engines that day at the circuit of Zolder. Only human power during the cyclocross race on the former Formula One track. Taking a step back made it possible to get the motorsport atmosphere, when Mathieu van der Poel passes by.” 

Photo by Mats Palinckx (@matspalinckx).
“During lock down the local bunches ceased, and there was plenty of solo rides and riders. As things settled, racing started again. This image is taken on a hot Sunday morning at the local, purpose built crit track in Noosa. It is a break gone early, emerging from the dark bridge & tunnel and into the light, solo, with the pack chasing. It’s lonely out there, as it has been in in periods of 2020. The bunch ultimately caught up and a pack formed, together again, as we hope for in 2021.” 

Photo by Glen Bucklar (@gbvisi0n).
“A smoky night in the Idaho Mountains.” 

Photo by Remi McManus (@r_adventurist).
“Gravel riding in the Tarentaise (France). The region is mostly known for the ski resorts and regular Tour de France stage finishes of Val Thorens, Meribel and Courchevel (in the background). But it offers way more to the discerning cyclists, like this great loop to the Refuge du Mont Jovet.”

Photo by Alain Rumpf (@aswisswithapulse).
“I often pass geese on the road. One day I decided to take a photo of myself with the geese. I set my camera on a timer and as I passed they got a little to close. Fortunately everyone was ok, and I got an interesting photo.”

Photo by Ron Short (@shortcycles).
“In a similar way as he showed up to join me for the big climb of my tour, my Instagram friend Adam Kolarski looks like he appears out of nowhere in this window of a tunnel on the way to mighty Col du Sanetsch, Switzerland.” 

Photo by Adriano Spiccia (@adrianospics).
“After we abandoned our Project Pedal Further venture early 2020 due to the pandemic, I was discouraged. The past 7 months had been full of adventures and now we were stuck in Switzerland, which sometimes seemed too familiar and therefore not too worth discovering. How wrong I was: When we went on a bikepacking trip in mid-November, I found my adventurous spirit again and drew hope: Not only that I live in a beautiful country, but also that somewhere – whether near or far – surprises await me.”

Photo by Sara Bukies (@projectpedalfurther).
“This shot was caught during the fall season, with the beautiful colour this season is known for. I really like the contrast between the fall colours and the snow on top of the mountains and how the cyclist looks incredibly small compare to the mountains behind.” 


Photo by Maxime Vanheye (@Maxime.visuals).

Jered & Ashley Gruber

Ashley and Jered Gruber are two of the most well known photographers in pro cycling and they return as Judges once again.

After years of chasing cycling around the globe, their passion for both the sport and their craft has helped elevate them to amongst the best cycling photographers in the world.

Professional Category

Amateur Category

 Tim Bardsley-Smith

Tim Bardsley-Smith is an experienced cycling photographer, based in Australia, focusing on road and mountain bike racing.

Tim was the winner of the professional category of the 2017 Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year with a stunning image of switchbacks in Tibet, shot on location . We welcome him to the Judging panel this year.

Professional Category

Amateur Category

“For me, this year has been all about local isolation and exploration. This picture was taken in Schladming (Austria), which is one hour away from my home. the 2020 lockdowns made me discover more deeply the beautiful country where I live in. I hope people appreciate more the treasures we all have around the corner. 2020 has undoubtedly helped to do so.”

Photo by Javi Lozano (@javi_lozded).
“One siliver lining to the otherwise bleak 2020 road cycling season in Colorado was that the highest paved road in North America — to the summit of Mount Evans (14,271-feet -4,350 m- in altitude) — was closed to cars, making it perfect for cyclists attempting to accomplish a personal milestone. This image was taken on Father’s Day, June 21, as I and my two adult children attempted to reach the top on bicycles, despite the few inches of snow remaining from a storm a few days before.”

Photo by Reid Neureiter (@reidnewphoto).
“New bridges vs. old ones. I never thought I’d get that photo of my friend cycling that classic loop around home. I always sthrive to improve my photo skills… but that day it was about finding that new angle. That’s how I spotted that beautiful old bridge just parallel to the modern one. Old or new they both were constructed to reach new places and in that sense to get further for every future generation.”

Photo by Ricard Calmet Calveras (@erreka).
“After we abandoned our Project Pedal Further venture early 2020 due to the pandemic, I was discouraged. The past 7 months had been adventurous and now we were stuck in Switzerland, which sometimes seemed too familiar and therefore not too worth discovering. How wrong I was: When we went on a 3-days bikepacking trip in mid-November, I found my adventurous spirit again and drew hope: Not only that I live in a beautiful country, but also that somewhere – whether near or far – surprises await me.”

Photo by Sara Bukies (@projectpedalfurther).
“Everyone loves a happy ending, especially during these difficult times. My submission last year was of Marion Norbert-Riberolle in tears at the finish line of the Cyclocross World Championships as she had an untimely mechanical and lost in the final lap. In 2020 she stormed away to victory to win the U23 World Championships by a mile. Embracing her family, draped in a French flag, it was a moment of true happiness, one of hope, and this year without despair.”

Photo by Anthony Leutenegger (@anthonyleutenegger).
“During lock down the local bunches ceased, and there was plenty of solo rides and riders. As things settled, racing started again. This image is taken on a hot Sunday morning at the local, purpose built crit track in Noosa. It is a break gone early, emerging from the dark bridge & tunnel and into the light, solo, with the pack chasing. It’s lonely out there, as it has been in in periods of 2020. The bunch ultimately caught up and a pack formed, together again, as we hope for in 2021.”

Photo by Glen Bucklar (@gbvisi0n).
“My new favorite color is H O P E! I met a dear friend of mine who came from Berlin to visit me. We went cycling and had a great time together. A few houses before coming back to the rented house we passed this green gate. His favorite number is 13, my new favorite color is green. I had to take this picture here (or let him take it) because it represents our relationship. And green stands for hope. Hopefully this relationship will carry on.”

Photo by Angela Zapp (@rennradlerin).
“2020 threw a lot of shade. But there can only shadows with light. And this is the year light fought back the darkness with stories of communities rising up for one another. This moment was captured alone while training for a solo-Everesting fundraiser that generated over $4,500 for student homelessness affected by COVID-19.”

Photo by Sean de Luna (@de.Luna.Shoots).
“Photo of my friend Emils as he prepares for his first year in World Tour. We raced togeather from childhood and he was always amazing, but not so easy to move up ranks from here… so finaly at age 28 he is in WT and kicking ass! Just like in picture – finally he is in light out of shadows.”

Photo by Andza Flaksis (@flaksis_a).
“This year was unprecedented and tried to break us. But our spirit persevered through creative use of social media, networking, and even some rule-bending. We didn’t think outside the box. We zoomed above it to stay connected, achieve wellness and build strength as a community.”

Photo by Sean de Luna (de.Luna.Shoots).

What are your favourite shots? Keep an eye open for the announcement of the winners early next week!

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