The Mark Gunter Photo Awards: James Startt's shortlist

The Mark Gunter Photo Awards 2022 are now closed and our judges have begun compiling their shortlists. First up with their finalised long list of images from the professional and amateur categories is Rouleur photographer and staff writer James Startt.

James Startt is a Rouleur staff writer & photographer, whose work features regularly in Rouleur magazine and on rouleur.cc. His cycling photography has been widely exhibited throughout his career, and in 2021 he was awarded a gold medal in the World Sports Photography Awards.

It was a lot of fun being a judge once again for the awards. Not just the number of entries, but the number of high quality entries that came in this year was amazing. I was especially impressed with the amateur category, and the best images from that were absolutely on par with the professional category. Some amazing stuff.

The pro category did not disappoint, and I was surprised by the images I had yet to see. It was fairly easy for me to pick the first five images or so, but getting the selections down to 10 was very difficult. There were at least 20 images that could have made my shortlist, but we have to be as objective as possible and look at the images that resonate the most with us for different reasons.

Here is my shortlist for The Mark Gunter Photo Awards 2022:

Amateur category

Lewis Allan @lewisallanphotography

“The moment the stadium roared and the roof came off as Emma Hinze beat Mathilde Gros in the third all or nothing round of the women’s sprint, bringing Hinze her third gold medal of the European Championships in Munich.” 

Markuzii

“We’ve hit October now and there still hasn’t been a drop of rain in sight. The dust is getting kicked up into the light make it a dream for photographers but an absolute nightmare for the athletes. MFG CX at Fort Steilacoom Park in Washington.”

Mat Gilfedder @matgilfedder

“Friday night crits under lights out at Ipswich Cycle Park, on a clear moonlit night.” 

Suzan Debuysere @suzandbsr

“I think there is no picture that means that much to me as this one. It was my first shot after a difficult period. It reminds me that, even if there is damage, even it’s hard, try to carry it with you. Keep pushing – at your pace – and try to make the best of it. I love the focus on the bright blue damaged wall, the contrast with the racers pushing their limits and how the second cyclist fits perfectly in the damaged wall.”

Iurii Makalis @makalisiurii

“The bicycle is a true symbol of defiance. Empty streets, sandbags, air-raid alarms, anti tank hedgehogs – our reality now. For those who volunteer or came back from the front, cycling is a great way to relax mentally and physically. In many regions of Ukraine, bicycles have become the main means of transport.”

Jeff Corcoran @corcoransphotos

“Gravel racing in the mid-west. Pella-Roubaix. 100km of gravel, hills and wind in southern Iowa. The flags were flying straight out all day. Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa.” 

Stijn Bastens @stijn_bastens

“At the last minute of 2022, the Belgian beach race championships provided some great photos. Beach racing is a wonderful concept. Road cycling’s biggest champions will compete against absolute amateurs. Truly anyone can take part. There is no sport where you get so close to these champions. You literally bump into them on the beach. This picture shows riders like Jasper Philipsen, Yves Lampaert, Tim Merlier & Tim Declercq. I don’t have enough characters to list their record of just last season.”

Reid Neureiter @reidnewphoto

“Every year in Colorado there is a 28-mile bicycle race to the summit of Mount Evans, a 14,271-foot (4,350 m) peak approximately 30 miles west of Denver. It is a world-renowned climb, that uses the Mount Evans byway, the highest paved road in North America. On a clear day, riders can see more than 100 miles in any direction, but there ever present danger of clouds and storms rolling in. So it was on July 23, 2022, as these two riders cycled the final switchbacks to the top.” 

Hayden Archibald @turn8photo

A single breakaway rider hits the remaining patch of light during the Dockside Criterium in Port Adelaide, South Australia. A hot day out in 30+ degrees in an old industrial area but one of the most rewarding for the unique images that came out.” 

Emily Alexander @eealxndr

“Golden light for the golden bell Low summer sun catching the bell during Friday Night Racing at Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome.” 

PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY

Featured Image: Daniela Tommasi @daniela_tommasi_photography

“Yellow is the ‘happy colour’, right? This aerial shot taken at Backroads Gravel Race in Australia’s wheatbelt makes me smile. This image has a group of riders covering the brightest coloured landscape of all races I’ve photographed. The canola fields were in full bloom and riders were crossing wide expanses of what looked like hand-painted canvases.”

 Bram Berkien @bramberkien

“Danish cyclist Jonas Vingegaard shares a quiet and intimate moment with his partner Trine Marie Hansen on the Champs Élisées in Paris just after the final stage of the 2022 Tour de France. After three weeks of racing, the Team Jumbo-Visma rider secured the overall victory of the most prestigious cycling race in the world. This photo was shot just before the podium ceremony, in a backstage area.”

Eloise Mavian @eloisemavian

“Jonas Vingegaard struggling on the last meters of the 20th stage of the Tour de France. It was a very long warm day in Rocamadour, so it was a joy to find this escape from the sun. A very nice fresh tunnel with rocks (I love rocks) and dramatic light.” 

 Wout Beel @woutbeel

“Remco coming back to Brussels (Belgium) after winning La Vuelta.”

Mats Palinckx @matspalinckx

”During the hottest day of the year in Belgium, the queen stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour took place. Riders arrived completely overheated. And barely tried to refresh themselves with some ice cold water.” 

 Alen Milavec @alenmilavec 

“This photo was made at Tour de France when Wout Van Aert brutally attacked and won the stage. He came to the finish line alone and I took this photo. I used a fisheye lens to capture both the road and the fans at the arena.”

Anouk Flesch @anoukflesch

“Michel Hessmann (Jumbo-Visma) waiting to receive the yellow jersey at the Tour de l’Avenir after Germany won the TTT by two seconds over Belgium. He finished third of the Tour, behind Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Johannes Staune-Mittet (Jumbo-Visma).” 

 Iraia Calvo @iraiacalvophoto 

“Last meters to glory. Giro d’Italia (Jai Hindley).”

Alex Broadway @_alexbroadway_

“The peloton rides during stage four of the 2022 Saudi Tour.” 

Dario Belingheri @dariobelingheri

“I was in middle of a yellow flowers’ field; I saw this point at the last minute from the moto and I ran there cause the peloton was arriving very fast….I hadn’t the time to check if there was a better position but at the end the result was not bad.”