“After the ‘Ronde van Vlaanderen’, the riders are singing as loud as they can, while ‘pater familias’ Patrick Lefevere is calmly enjoying his steak.” Wout Beel @woutbeel

2021 Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards: Showcase 2

by Michael Better


As the year draws to a close, we’ve been thrilled to see so many meaningful, reflective, and powerful stories in the entries for the 2021 edition of the Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year awards.

These images help us to reflect on the year that was. From the incredible racing photographs depicting the emotions of pain, joy, and sorrow, to just getting outdoors and enjoying nature. Either way, riding a bicycle is pretty wonderful.

And, it’s as much about the story behind the image as it is about the picture itself. We implore you to read the captions and understand the meaning the image had for each photographer.

Every entry is making a difference — your entry fee goes towards the worthy cause of cancer research through Tour de Cure, and to the Young Cyclist Assistance which will provide up to two cyclists with financial support to help them reach their goals.

The competition closes on January 3, 2021, at which point our judges – Jojo Harper, Brazo de Hierro, and James Startt – will deliberate on who will take out the honors and prizes on offer from Wahoo. Winners will be announced on January 12, 2021.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the photos from our first showcase, published last week.

Professional category

The professional category is open to all photographers that make a living from their work. They are competing for prestige and honor, along with the perpetual trophy and medallions.

“A pre-ride portrait of Sir Brad Wiggins that captures his effortless rock and roll aura.” Gareth Winter @garethwinter
“This past summer brought some of the most oppressive and dramatic heat to the Pacific North West the region has ever seen. Gravel roads turned to flour as mid-July hit, making early morning adventures a must to escape the middle-of-the-day temperatures.” Matthew Clark @stirlandraemediahaus
“This was shot in Cheddar Gorge, one of the more photogenic roads the UK has to offer. I had visited a week before and knew this would be a great spot. Thankfully the weather held for the shoot and the light played its part.” Matt Grayson @mattgrayson_photo
“Overcoming all Obstacles”. Tom Bell on his way to winning the UK National Hill Climbing Championships – Winnats Pass. A record-breaking performance from a rider that had studied the course and conditions & knew how to get the best on the day. I love this photo of Tom as he rides towards the finish, in the pouring rain & being cheered on by a very enthusiastic crowd. The crowd really made the day, even with the weather. It was a joy to photograph and it made the 8-hour round trip worthwhile.” James Clarke @justjamesmedia
“The first-ever women’s edition of Paris Roubaix. Lizzie Deignan of team Trek-Segafredo after the finish in sheer disbelief at her amazing ride and achievement in treacherous conditions on the famous cobblestones of northern France. She is about to be engulfed by delirious members of her team, photographers, and TV crew. This was a split second of calm after the finish and before the encircle of the media where she could briefly reflect on what had just happened in the day.” Simon Gill @simongillphoto
“At first glance, nothing unusual in this day and age, a guy wearing a face mask. Take a closer look and you can see the reflection of a person in the sunglasses. Look again and its Tadej Pogačar wearing the Maillot Jaune. And it’s not just any guy wearing the mask and glasses – it’s the father of the double Tour de France winner.” Chris Auld (2020 Winner) @cauldphoto
“This is the second image of our Project Wolfsburg Shooting. We had two days alone in the center of Wolfsburg under the Phaeno Museum and tried to shoot new images.” Tom Schlegel @Schlegto
“Burglars on the road! This image was captured during the team time trial, on the last stage of the Tour or Margaret River, in Western Australia.” Daniela Tommasi @daniela_tommasi_photography
“Bo, a stranger from the internet, agreed to ride the Baja Divide with me as a first date. Due to travel restrictions, I couldn’t visit her and she couldn’t visit me, but we could both go to Mexico to bikepack. On day 4 of our 10-week ride, while riding into Ojos Negros, we were passed by trucks leaving a dusty wake. A blazing sunset through the glare made for a dramatic scene.” Evan Christenson @evanchristenson
“I was shooting an ADV campaign for a helmet Brand. The weather was terrible so we choose to get to Bologna from Cervia and play with the geometry of San Luca Hill.” Gabriele Facciotti @gabrielefacciotti
“Thibaut Nys post-race. Tough conditions forces riders to go into deep focus, to push boundaries. These are unique moments for a photographer to capture their emotions. Their expressions speak louder than words.” Rhode Van Elsen @rhode_photo
“Christopher Blevins is the first Men’s Short Track World Champion.” Javier Martínez de la Puente Azcárate @zubikophoto
“Going back to April 2021 this shot was taken at my very first sportive back since the lifting of restrictions in the UK. It was taken at Lepe Beach in the New Forest where the route skirted the coast before heading inland once again. A perfect spring morning shooting bikes in the spring sunshine.” Simon Edwards @mr_sedders_velo_and_run_photo

Amateur category

The Amateur category is open to non-professional photographers using high-end cameras, and anyone with a smartphone or drone, or action camera. The first prize in this category wins a Wahoo Elemnt Kickr, the second prize wins a Wahoo Elemnt Roam, and the third prize wins a Wahoo Elemnt Rival.

“This is from stage 3 of Tour te Fjells, a stage race in Norway. A very rainy day in the mountains. I was heading for a spot to shoot but saw the trees, and immediately stopped. The peloton was not far behind me, so I ran through the bushes, and made it just in time.” Jørgen Mo @moern
“Marianne Vos, covered in mud, tries to catch her breath on the wet pavement after the finish of a rainy World Cup Fayetteville.” Gavin Gould @gvngld
“As winter draws to an end, the first signs of spring appear. It’s the moment that so many keen cyclists have been waiting for: the reopening of the Alpine cols.” Maxime Vanyehe @maxime.visuals
“We did our last golden hour photos in Quebec City and we were back to the Airbnb. While waiting at the red light, I asked my friends to ride under this illuminated marquise free of anything. At the time the first rider came in, the first car passed in front of the camera, the second time, it was a person who was getting out of the door, a taxi, a bus, etc. We finally wait so long to make a clean shot like this.” Julien Payette-Tessier @payette
“Memory gravel is an event taking place on the front of the First World War on the Asiago Plateau. It was late October and this was the highest part of the route, already covered in snow. We happened to witness one of the best sunsets of the year.” Federico Damiani @damianifed
“World Duathlon Championships, Spain November 2021. The day before my wife’s race, the Elite ladies race beneath the bridge we watched from. I really liked the way the low late autumn sun casts the riders shadows. The eyes are drawn to the shadows until you see the riders.” Stephen Smith @steph3nsmith
“Color film photo. I like to think of this as the essence of summer as the rider completes a wall ride on a clown bike over a can of beer. Good times had by all.” Carl Sechrist @csechrist1
“Grit. Determination. Effort. Cycling encompasses all of those words in the simple act of turning the pedals. Pushing and striving for faster times, higher climbs, and that unreachable perfection. Monsal Hillclimb is a short effort, too long to sprint but too short to pace. It’s an all-out effort that sees riders bury themselves for the fastest time. As they emerge through the dappled light in the trees, they are faced with an amphitheater, full of people cheering their names. This is pure racing.” Josh Heaton @onlyjoshing_
Historic Riverton Crit. Lucky shot through the wheel. Ron @shortcycles
“Sara Penton, her very last dance of a long career. Sara decided to retire right after Paris Roubaix. And it was her face the second she arrived. As I know her personally, this was a super touching moment, it was like a super ball of emotion hitting you straight into the face. It was a mix of admiration, being proud, amazed about what this girl just did.” Bastien Gason @bastiengason
“Forest mist.” Vitaly Kotov @duck_a_sick

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