Riding is Life


Mark Gunter Photo Awards: Week one submissions

Just one week in, it was a near impossible task to choose this selection!

wade wallace
by wade wallace 19.12.2023 Photography by
Feature photo by Carlo Anzolin
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The 2023 edition of the Mark Gunter Photo Awards (MGPA) opened just over a week ago and this may be the strongest start we’ve had in the eight editions of the competition.

Each week over the holidays until entries close on January 6th, we’ll be showcasing a selection of images submitted by amateur and professional photographers alike. How do we choose the selection? That’s a good question. I’ve never spent so much time pouring through the images, reading the captions and trying to narrow it all down into a digestible amount. This week’s selection aren’t necessarily the best images, following a theme of sorts, or the ones in the running for the final judging. They were simply chosen because I loved them and are a representation of photos that were submitted with outstanding composition, subject, access, timing, or even just a happy accident.

Every single entry is making a difference. Not only do we get to shine a light on some of the best cycling photography that you may not have ever seen before, but the entry fees go towards two fantastic causes — cancer research with Tour de Cure and Young Cyclist Assistance Award for up to two young aspiring cyclists.

This year’s competition will be judged by an extended group of talented art professionals and cycling photographers – Russ Ellis, Alex Broadway, Bram Berkien, Gem Atkinson, Jeff Curtes, and Rupert Hartley – who you can read more about the here. Our largest judging panel ever will deliberate on who’ll take out the honours and amazing prizes on offer.

We hope you enjoy this small selection of the hundreds of images entered in the MGPA competition below!

“I’ve been following women’s cycling for 8 years now and for me this picture shows just how far the sport has come compared to what I’ve experienced. For me, this photo of Demi Vollering, who has just won her 1st Tour de France, surrounded by photographers/media, shows the scale of this event and the extent to which women’s sport has grown.” Thomas Maheux @thomas_maheux
“Primoz Roglic makes an exhibition before his audience in Monte Lussari, winning the time trial and finally being the winner of the Giro d’Italia, taking the victory from G Thomas.” Iraia Calvo @iraiacalvophoto
“As part of my job as a photographer, exploring is one of the main reasons for a early wake up every morning. To explore not only means to travel to new places, but also to try to see places from other points of view. In this case we were crossing (and exploring) our own country (Italy), Puglia, the heel of it. As soon as I saw this salt pans, I imagined cyclists crossing the thin border, reflecting on colors.” Paolo Penni Martelli @paolopennimartelli
“Cycling in Belgium that’s folklore. Fairground and cycling are inextricably linked in this regard. A mixture of many scents and colors. While the riders (Marianne Vos in the case pictured) give their best, the carnival rides continue to be in full swing.Also resulting in a mix of audiences. Enthusiastic supporters, young fans, as well as those interested only in the carnival rides.” Stijn Bastens @stijn_bastens
“Tom Pidcock entering Siena solo to win Strade Bianche. I could talk for hours about the beauty of Siena and the way the evening light falls into the streets with an orange hue and long shadows. I knew I wanted a dramatic shot of my favourite race, showing the light, the fans, the winner in all its glory.” Harry Talbot @visualsofharry
“The emotions of Jessica Allen of Team Jayco Alula after finishing Paris-Roubaix Femmes Avec Zwift.” Dave Dodge @pelotonpix
“Colombian cycling scene. After a sweltering hot stage, a rider rests amidst fruit, sweets, snacks and some tokens of love all around him.” Cristian Pérez @inkdustrial
“As a Basque and a cycling photographer, Le Tour starting in Bilbao was the most anticipated moment of the year. Living it from the inside was a blast for me. This photo was taken from a nursing home in Bilbao for which I had to ask permission the day before to the nuns running it.” Naike Ereñozaga Orue @naikefotosport
“Our daughter at this year’s Ecoica Valkenbu” Dennis Fischer @md_cyclingpics
“Mont Jovet, in the high-altitude gravel playground that is the Tarentaise valley. The views never disappoint.” Graeme Langhorne @graemelanghorne
“The pro women’s peloton speeding down Cordova Street in downtown Vancouver, during the 50th edition of the Gastown Grandprix.” Filip Funk: @filipfunkphoto
“Viewfinders — One of the things I noticed while attending Superworlds was just how many people – like myself – were carrying around cameras. Big, small, digital, film. It was a great uniting moment. Even with not speaking the same language – a questioning look, a quick point, and you’d see folks sharing what they were using, trading suggestions of good vantage points. Always supportive, always excited. I enjoy sharing what and how I see events, and I love to see them from others’ perspective.” Emily Alexander @eealxndr
“Taken at the track cycling championship, the Velodrome in London. A nice compact group of riders given an effect of movement in post processing.”
Andrew Kent: @awrk201

“MVDP wins Paris Roubaix, with Wout Van Aert in the front row to witness the triumph of his lifelong rival.”
Gaëtan Flamme: @sportpic_agency
“Entering the Anna Meares Velodrome (Brisbane, Australia) for a big night of Track Racing.” Mat Gilfedder @matgilfedder
“Urban winter bike commute at its best. White, cold, quiet, empty streets. silent urban flow. cemetery Ohlsdorf, Hamburg. ” Gert Kaessens @jestergeefloydkay
“This photo is hard to swallow. National TT Championship, Sofia Castillo from Liro Cycling team swings by at full gas, I’m composing the shot to have the mural art behind being the protagonist. The graffiti is honoring Lucas Villa, a leader from the student movement that was vile executed allegedly by Colombian state forces. His family is still being threatened. And it summarizes Colombia’s national strike. The photo was taken in Bucaramanga.” Mateo Rueda @mateorueda
“Despite the earthquake we decided to maintain Morocco as our bikepacking destination, and the infinite shades of the red soil welcomed us in the very first days in the Atlas. We would go on to discover an astonishing land as well as a heartening & resilient culture. We have been joking that the red colour of the flag might as well represent this very special red dirt and the green, the bushes growing on the mountainsides. Spectacular.” Victor Jovet @triple.buse
“#CrossisBoss Who could’ve ever thought that this thing once called ‘Veldrijden’, where some locals gather in a field to drink and watch others take a mud bath with their bikes, would become THIS popular?! For those that are still on the fence, just give it a try. You’ll most likely get cold, dirty, and slightly drunk, but I promise you, you won’t be disappointed!” Rik Looijen” @fietsmeneer.cc
“Breakaway on the third stage of Tour de Pologne, looking where the peloton is?
Tomasz Śmietana: @smietana_tomasz_photo
“This is from Il Lombardia 2023, the last race of Thibaut Pinot before retiring. As for the Tour de France the Collectif Ultras Pinot arranged the ‘Virage Pinot’ on the last climb of the race, a place full of ‘tifosi’. With my dear friend Francesco we thought it was the most interesting spot and we stayed there for a long time. These photos are some of the results of that beautiful day. Suffice to say that Pinot had to stop there as the ultras were uncontainable.” Angelo Giangregorio: @pedaleforchetta
“When I was watching the world champs in Glasgow, the group of Belgian fans beside me cheered as they watched Mathieu van der Poel crash in the rain on their phones. Only for the World Champion-elect to emerge alone, albeit bloodied and with his kit cut, around the corner at the bottom of Montrose Street to attack the last few laps. Fair to say the fans loved it…” James Moultrie: @cycling35mm
“The Goodwood Road Race – held on the 1982 World Champs Course – is becoming a favourite early season fixture in the road race calendar. Featuring a 3km climb, the weather is either cool, chilly, or very cold. This year the men’s race was also very wet, just to add to the discomfort.” Ian Wrightson: @ianwrightsonphotography
“After many trips to Mallorca I thought I had seen it all, until a friend recommended the old road to Talaia d’Albercutx. Nearly every cyclist pushes straight on past this hidden gem, but the viewpoint is stunning. The returning descent gives this fantastic perspective of the mountains stretching off into the distance.” Murray Ferguson: @muzzaferg
“Golden hour at the Traka. I spent some quiet time here, taking a lot of photos and changing my camera settings. I’m happy with how this one turned out.” Carlo Anzolin: @carlo_anz
“I followed the women’s gravel world championships, trying to see it at as many points as possible. I arrived at the finish with just 2km to go, but there was no space left in the crowd to get a good view. I spotted two people on a terrace and thought, ‘Run and try it.’ Thankfully, they let me enter, and I was so happy with the result. There was a wave of people watching Kasia win her first rainbow stripes, and behind those, thousands more around the world who wanted to watch a live broadcast.” Carlo Anzolin: @carlo_anz
“Marlies Mejias celebrates her forth first place win at the 2023 Gateway Cup (@gatewaycupstl) with her daughter! The first woman to win first place in all four races in the history of the Gateway Cup!”
John D Wilson: @stlcyclist
“Celebrate like a Pro (or even better). Kei Takada and friends enjoying the moment at Cyclocross Tokyo.” Toshiki Sato: @toshikisato
“Usually when it gets dark, cyclists don’t go outside biking. We don’t see pro cyclists biking in dark and also there are no races in dark even for example at a closed moto circuit. But for me when it gets dark, people disappear and it gets calmer. So here photo of me preparing for the ride in the dark.” Lukáš Ronald Lukács: @lucassaganronald
“British Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships 2023 held at the Westmorland Showground Cumbria. Heavy rain had turned the lower section of the course into a mudfest, some riders could not ride the water earlier in the weekend due to the depth. The final race of the weekend was the men’s national championships and the section became just rideable.” Andrew Field: @andrew_field_photography
“The 3 Peaks Cyclocross, the biggest and toughest Cyclo-Cross event in the UK totalling 61km with 33km off road including 6km of unrideable terrain and 1524m of climbing. This is one hard event and yet many of the competitors come back year after year and endure everything that’s thrown at them from the Yorkshire weather to the near vertical climbs.” Darren Athersmith: @da_sportsphotos
“Another spectacular town centre race. The Otley Cycle Races and the spectators were out in force lining the streets in front of the bars and cafes. The format of these races is great and provides plenty of opportunities to capture some fantastic images of all the competitors whilst still enjoying the action.” Darren Athersmith: @da_sportsphotos
“The winning group of the Junior Men’s World Championship passing a mural on the side of a building in Glasgow. For me, the photo both represented the wider context of the message the work was trying to portray and also the words “The Future,” linking to the junior riders who will shape the future of our sport.” Nate Rawsthorne: @nate.r_photography
“Little eyes are big mirrors. The curious eyes of a child reflect a world of wonder and possibility back at us.” Grant Halsey: @contentfactoryoutlet
“We all know Remco Evenepoel. I took this picture at the Belgian time trial championships on the road. Soon it started to rain during the reconnaissance. In the bend where I was standing, the road turned into an ice rink. During the day I saw some riders sliding into the canal. During Remco’s first pass, I saw his front wheel slip, and I was able to take this unique photo. Away title, I helped Remco out of the canal and on Sunday I saw him take the title on the road!” Freddy Finn: @freddyfinn97531
“Muddy?” Cykelvasan 2023, Sweden’s largest mtb race was a mud race to be remembered.”
Andreas Olsson: @xyklisten
“Snow day reflections. This was taken on the last day of our Winter holiday in the French Alps. Early March this year and it hadn’t snowed for weeks. Temperatures had been mild to say the least. We’d taken our bikes and had been riding alpine off road. We couldn’t believe it when it dumped with snow and delayed packing our bikes to have some fun. Thank goodness we had taken some winter kit just in case it snowed!” Bella Leach: @Bellajlleach
“Demi Vollering appears out of the mist on the Tourmalet, two kilometers from the finish of stage seven of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift 2023. She had just passed Kasia Niewadoma, and the lead she gains on this stage puts her into the yellow jersey for the 8th and final stage of the race, which she keeps the following day.”
Dominique Powers: @dominiquepowers
“Happiness is … showering surrounded by photographers Despite the really bad luck that scuppered his race you wouldn’t know it seeing this smile post race in the iconic Roubaix showers even with all the cameras around.” Chris Wallis: @wallisphotos
“Sylvian Moniquet climbing the xorret del cati from a different perspective.” Asier Gil Artuch: @asier.g.a
“If Wallers Arenberg is known for Paris Roubaix, an amateur nighttime cyclocross takes place on this legendary site. The opportunity to have fun with light… Here Eddy Lefebvre, French amateur champion in a tunnel on the circuit.” Gaëtan Flamme: @sportpic_agency
“Race Around Rwanda. Manuel starts pedaling again after the puncture, chasing the first group. he’s riding this long straight road uphill. Only a guy pushing the bike and a bird photobombing the moment.” Chiara Redaschi: @chiara_redaschi
“Katie Archibald is a giant of the track cycling scene. Synonymous with European and World Championship success across the endurance disciplines, she received rapturous applause whenever she took to the track in Glasgow at the World Championships. This photo was taken during the Points race, the final event in the Women’s Omnium. Katie was pretty much out of medal contention, but used the cacophony of noise around her to take two laps and deliver a dominant performance in front of a home crowd.” Elliot Keen: @elliotkphoto
“It’s June, and the Canyon//SRAM team is out scouting the Tourmalet before the Tour de France. Conditions were pretty tough at the summit, and this picture of “little” rider Agnieszka Skalniak-Sojka surrounded by the Pyrenean mountains shows just how big this stage will be.” Thomas Maheux: @thomas_maheux
“Adam Yates’ dog Zoe went into the Team Emirates UAE bus at the start of stage 2 of the Tour De France and re-emerged in her very own yellow jersey. Here, Zoe shows her affection and pride for Adam’s achievements with a good old fashioned lick of the leg! You occasionally encounter lovely moments like this at the start of stages at the Grand Tours when families visit the riders.” Simon Gill: @simongillphoto

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