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2020 was a year like no other. That was reflected in the Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards, too, which have once again delivered some amazing shots from passionate enthusiasts and pro photographers from all over the world.
But this year, there was a twist. In the craziness of the past year, it was clear from the entries just how much freedom the bicycle (and the camera) granted.
The unusual, solitary norm that has now become established helped create some fascinating new perspectives for entries in the competition, with some meaningful moments captured in photos and told through stories.
Out of hundreds of entries from every continent (except Antarctica), our judges whittled their selections down to a shortlist of ten images in both the pro and amateur categories, avoiding bias by judging without seeing the photographer’s name.
Each of those shortlists and the arguments behind them were brought to a call earlier this week, where the judges debated for over four hours to arrive at a consensus of the top 10 in each category, and ultimately, the winners.
Kristof, Tim, Jered, Ashley and Graham: our deepest thanks for your expertise and your time. It was an absolute pleasure.
We are proud now to showcase the winners here, their images, and the story behind their image, as well as the top 10 in both categories.
Thank you to everyone who was part of this year’s awards – whether as a photographer, or as a reader. Thank you also to Wahoo for generously providing prizes in the Amateur category.
And finally, and most significantly, thank you to Leeanne Gatien, the driving force behind the awards. Leeanne was Mark Gunter’s wife, and when he tragically died of oesophageal cancer, leaving Leeanne and a one-year-old son behind, the awards were established as a fundraiser for cancer charities and to allow Mark’s name to live on. Thank you, Leeanne – this is all due to you.
The wait is over…. here are the winners and your top ten in each category! Congratulations to you all.
The professional category is open to anyone who gets a living income from their work in the field.
This category is all about the prestige – there’s a perpetual trophy that passes down each year for the winner, along with medals for the top three. Some of the finest photographers in the sport have taken out this award over the duration of the competition, and this year we are thrilled to announce that the winner is …
First place, professional category: Chris Auld, United Kingdom
Congratulations, Chris! You are the Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year. You’re in esteemed company, and custodian of the perpetual trophy for the next year.
Hot on Chris’ heels, we have…
Second place, professional category: Alberto Gallego (Brazo de Hierro), Spain
The rest of the top 10 in the professional category, in order, are as follows:
The Amateur category encapsulates any photographers that don’t fit into the professional category. This category was consolidated this year from the Enthusiast and Smartphone/Action camera categories, and allows anyone shooting on an SLR, in film, on drones and on their phones to get involved.
Due to the wider catchment, this is the most hotly contested of the two categories. And this year, from a fiercely contested field, the winning image is …
First place, amateur category: Anthony Leutenegger, Switzerland.
This year, Anthony has gone a few places better. Congrats, Anthony! You’ve won a Wahoo Elemnt Roam GPS unit and a year’s subscription to the Sufferfest.
In second place on the podium is…
Second place, amateur category: Julien Payette-Tessier, Canada.
Nice one, Julien. You’ve scored a Wahoo Elemnt Rival sportswatch and a year’s subscription to the Sufferfest.
And rounding out the podium is a competition regular…
Third place, amateur category: Rasmus Pellizotti, Denmark.
Great stuff, Rasmus! You’ve won a Wahoo Tickr heart rate monitor, along with a year’s subscription to the Sufferfest.
The rest of the top 10 are as follows:
Graham Watson has been involved with the awards since they first began, deliberating as a judge for the first three years of the awards. The last two years, he continues to offer his experience and insight as an honorary judge, selecting his top 10 of the amateur category.
Here are the ten photos that most caught the eye of a cycling photography legend this year.
Last year, Leeanne and Mark’s son Lucas took an interest in the awards for the first time, selecting his favourite shots. This year, he’s back with another selection of his favourite images. Leeanne writes:
Here are Lucas’ top three in each category:
There were a lot of great shots this year, so Lucas selected a full 10 images in the Professional category and could only narrow it down to 15 in the Amateur category.