As the year draws to a close, we’ve been thrilled to see so many meaningful, reflective, and powerful stories in the entries to the 2020 Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards.
The theme this year is hope – 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 — and if you choose to pay, your entry fee goes towards the worthy cause of cancer research through Tour de Cure.
Entrants in the Professional Category are competing for the prestigious title of Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year, the perpetual trophy and a medallion.
In the Amateur category, Wahoo is generously providing prizes for the top three. First prize in this category wins a Wahoo Elemnt Roam GPS computer; second prize wins a Wahoo Elemnt Rival; and third prize wins a Wahoo Tickr. All three prize-winners also score a year’s subscription to The Sufferfest.
The competition closes on January 5th, 2021, at which point our judges – Kristof Ramon, Tim Bardsley-Smith, and Ashley & Jered Gruber – will deliberate on who’ll take out the honours. So, whilst you’re out riding over the holiday break, it’s the perfect time to get creative.
For all details and to enter, visit here.
This week’s showcase is a representation of this year’s images — and we hope you’ll enjoy them.
The feature image is by Anthony Leutenegger @anthonyleutenegger in the Amateur category, and is captioned: “Hope! What better story for hope this year than Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado winning the Cyclocross World Championship. The first cyclist of colour in history to do so. In this image she had just won the sprint and was screaming as her bike crashed into the gate separating the fans and photographers from the riders. She embraced her mother as they both cried tears of sheer joy. A truly special moment.”
The professional category is open to all photographers that make a living from their work.
“Daniel Felipe Martinez of EF Pro Cycling in action during the time trial from Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles on stage 20 of the Tour de France.” Alex Whitehead @alex_swpix
“I took this shot on the final climb of Paracombe at this year’s Tour Down Under. The climb itself is pretty boring to look at, so I picked a side of the road and crossed my fingers that something would happen in front of me. Sure enough, Richie Porte launched his attack a few metres in front of me and swung to the opposite side of the road, looking back to see if anyone could follow. They couldn’t.” Zac Williams @z_w_photography
“One of the most iconic images of 2020 were the helicopter shots from the UCI World Road Race Championships in Imola, Italy, of riders racing across a ridge line, after seeing the footage on TV I had to shoot there. With only the mens race remaining I had to find that spot. Shooting from the adjacent field silhouetting the riders against the sky, with eventual race winner, Julian Allaphilippe demonstrating his descending prowess in the super tuck position.” Chris Auld @cauldphoto
“The peloton passes Madrid Town Hall during the final stage of the 6th Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta 2020, a 100,5km stage from Madrid to Madrid on November 08, 2020 in Madrid, Spain.” Justin Setterfield @justinsetters
“Early 2020, wild bushfires struck the beautiful region I live in. I had to evacuate twice in January and then, in the first week of February, the condition easing enough, I have been able to follow the Sun Tour 2020. Here is the photo of the leading group in the King Valley where the sun is filtered in the smoky haze.” Jean-Pierre Ronco @imagewriterphotography
“I met Jean Eric Habimana at Race Around Rwanda, he rode the last stage of an amateur bikepacking race with us because his focus was on the real deal, The Tour of Rwanda , were he has competing for the first time. Covid hit and prevented him from building on that opportunity and racing in Europe this year. This isn’t a photo of a bike race, but it is a photo of the hope that cycling can give to a young person and is country. Cycling needs more Jean Erics.” Tomás Montes @arrieredupeloton
“This image is the culmination of three years. A three year plan to the Jersey. A rider. A plan. A bike shop in Portland, Oregon and a pair of mechanics took the Stars and Stripes in cyclocross. This is the moment team manager/mechanic and rider sink into one another’s arms in celebration of winning the U.S. Cyclocross National Championship — while team owner sits in the bokeh as only he would have it. It’s a technically imperfect image. But it is and always will be a capture I hold dear.” Drew Colman @dcmediahaus
“You’d be hard pressed to find solitude like that which you can find on a mountain road in the middle of a blizzard.” Natalie Starr @natalierstarr
“Froomie. The definition of le Tour for the last 10 years. He dominated it. 2020 is the end of his nice story with Team Sky/Ineos. Good luck golden boy.” Paolo Martelli @paolopennimartelli
“With such limited racing in this crazy year, Colby Lange of Team Generation Wildlife, takes a commanding win in SRM P-1-2, the Colorado State Patrol Criterium in Golden, Colorado.” Ryan Muncy @ryanmuncy
“Jr CX… this photo demonstrates the commitment my son has to the sport. This photo sums up his passion for CX.” Ryan Crabbie @arcrabbe75
“Friendship, true friendship that helped me survive this crazy year. Thank you.” Pedro Carvalho @pedrotheguide
“One of the last races before lockdown! The pro women’s field at Tour de Murrieta heads into the last lap of the criterium. Pain etched on the faces, and a bit of relief knowing the race will be over soon.” James Eby @easyeby
“This photo is more about the feeling cycling brings us than the actual cyclist in the photo, I feel like cycling brings us a feeling of excitement and joy even if we’re not the biggest fans and we can’t help but cheer them on, and just like we had to be this year, cyclists are a lot tougher than they look.” Hugo Pereira @hugopereira.photo
“The National Championship. The one race and jersey every British cyclo-cross rider hopes to win… For Tom Pidcock this was the start of an incredible 2020 race season.” James Hards @jameshguitar
“Training at home because of COVID was a difficult time for me. Trying to find motivation and drive to train was a really tought task to do. At the the END using smart trainer was a good way to maintain weight an even built some muscles.” Jacek Thomann
“Guillaume Van Keirsbulck awaits the start of Stage 5 at the 2020 Tour Down Under. Shot through the glass of his CCC team bus, this image offers a window to a time when crowds of fans lined the roadside, bustling to catch a glimpse of the riders before the race rolled out.” George Turnbull @georgeturnbullphoto
“Cyclocross is a sport of high highs and low lows. I was following this guy as he kept increasing his lead from lap to lap, but with one lap to go, he blew his tire. Definitely not his day.” Chris Ward @chrisward.photography
“In a year where the preparation was not the best because of the Covid-19 (the Ordiziako Klasikoa, this year was the final preparation before La Vuelta), the riders would face a hard circuit in itself, to which the rain and cold would be added. The faces of the riders at their arrival at the finish line, perfectly reflected this hardness and also the agony they had accumulated throughout the year.” Markel Bazanbide @markel.bazan
“Just an ordinary autumn ride in the national park “Kopacki rit” in baranya county, Croatia. We were heading home and the sunet was approaching but we didn’t bring any lights so we have to be very fast. Despite the time cut, i didn’t want to miss this oportunity to take this shot.” Igor Dacic @codar
“I’m sure there isn’t a good year to lose the ability to ride a bike, but 2020 isn’t the year I would have chosen. While others spoke of how escaping on their bike was everything, my world was getting smaller. Getting a handcycle gave me back the pieces I needed most, the ability to push myself through hard workouts and a feeling that I could still be a part of the cycling community.” Amy Moody @amy.thurbs
“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 pesonal 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.” Reid Neureiter @reidnewphoto
“I decided to take a new way home on an abandoned railroad that had been ripped up and came across this bridge. I took this photo on the commute home from work. It took me much longer to get home. But finding little gems like this is always worth it.” Henry Kennedy @henrythe_human
“In April this year I moved to a new city. As I didn`t know any other cyclists there, I explored the roads by myself. I started carrying a small tripod to take photos of myself while riding. I like the idea of including people in a landscape. I think it adds some sense of scale. When I rolled through the tunnel and saw the light hitting the mountains on the other side of the fjord, I stopped to set up the camera.” Benjamin Werner @benjaminoutriding