The Mark Gunter Photo Awards: Antonio Colombo's Shortlist

Our judges' shortlists for The Mark Gunter Photo Awards continue to come in, this time from esteemed collector, curator and cycling industry veteran Antonio Colombo.

Antonio Colombo balances between the worlds of art, design, industry and culture, having run Cinelli for the past four decades and Columbus tubing before that. It’s fair to say Colombo exists at the epicentre of the Italian bicycle industry, but as a life-long fan of art and design, he also runs his own gallery “Antonio Colmbo Arte Contemporanea” in Milan, specialising in contemporary works of young Italian artists.

It is an honour and a pleasure to be selected for a photography contest, but in my case I prefer to call it one of images, of representations, of stories.  I don't have any particular experience in the field of photography like that of the other highly esteemed judges, but I have an obsession with images, and that’s why I have owned and curated my own gallery since 1998.

In making my shortlist, I saw that the fatigue, the victory, the drama, the exultation and the beautiful landscapes are all elements to be found with the very high quality of the participants. I appreciated the artistic and visual maturity of the entries; even from the amateurs.

I am aware that I did not choose any finish line photos, although admittedly there were some wonderful ones. To me, the beauty of cycling lies not only in the athletic gesture, but also in the human gesture. Knowing how to identify those human and also social aspects that cycling brings.

Standout images for me included Jonas Vingegaard and his partner Trine Marie Hansen, where the moment before the public triumph is told by that embrace that makes us see a very tender and familiar aspect of a true hero of the sport. Or among the different photos of the Roubaix showers, three women from the back who, just because we love the sport, make us understand where we are and the previous toil and adventure in the most legendary race. 

In my 53 years of entrepreneurship, my motto has always been to look for the idea; "where is the idea?" Be it small or historic, of product or communication, the idea must remain central to the artwork.

In these photos I have seen many ideas which become gestures (the throw of the wheel, the signature on the little girl’s hand, the baby giving flowers, the hugs with Swiss nail polish, the hands holding coffee cups and so on) and which the good photographer-artist transforms into images that become narratives.

Here are my shortlists for the professional and amateur categories:


Will Palmer @willpalmer_photo

A pan at 1/4th of a second shows Australia’s Joshua Duffy, James Moriarty, Lucas Plapp and Conor Leahy in action during the Men's 4000m Team Pursuit Qualifying, the team would later go on to win Bronze at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Dario Belingheri @dariobelingheri

Going up to the rocks of Oman you can spot a perfect corner without any cars during the Tour of Oman 2022. This is the famous climb of Al Jabal street in Muscat, with its perfect white lines climbing up as the riders.

Jeff Vander Stucken @jeffvsphoto

Hellyer Park in San Jose California hosts a summer race series at their outdoor velodrome on Wednesday nights. The West end of the track is mostly in shadow, but has small splashes of light at the beginning of the session. I caught James Grady as he came through a small window of evening light

Gary Main @garymainphotographer

This photo took me by surprise. It was taken at British national hill climb champs in Wales. This three KM section of road was swamped by noisy and excited fans. This could be the tour on a bit mountain stage but it is a little single track road in the Uk. I moved back to get a better over all shot and and the winner Andy Feathers pictured pictured hit the crest of the hill the sun came out. This my favourite shot of the year and taken only 75 kms from my house.

saltlake lian

Early hours on the second day of the 2022 @migrationgravelrace in Kenya. No sunrise like an African sunrise.

Jojo harper @jojoharper_

Images have flown around of male cyclists in the Roubaix showers for years, so why not show some females

Nils Laengner @nils_laengner

1050 km and 13.052 meters in climbing or in other words 49 hours and 25 minutes (victory & route record). That was Across Andes for Ulrich Bartholmoes. Across Andes is an unsupported ultracycling gravel race, which passes through the most remote places at the end of the world. Patagonia Verde is known for the famous Carretera Austral.

Harry Talbot @visualsofharry

Kevin Vermaerke punctures on Stage five of the TDF. His soguiner was stranded on the other side of the cobbles with riders and team cars still blasting through the sector. Without a chance to run across between the chaos he threw the wheel infront of a team car to an assisting fan. I shot the saga in disbelief at what I witnessed. I love this sport.

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.



Darren Athersmith @da_sportsphotos

Two young friends of mine Sam and Tom Stephenson competed in the local The Struggle Hill Climb, Tom had a great run to finish an incredible third place thanks to brother Sam running alongside for the last 100m in his socks bellowing encouragement.

Saskia Martin: @saskiacmartin

A Tuesday ritual in London. Everyone meets at Regents, to then go and do the laps around the Iconic Regent's Park and then we all meet up for the most important thing, Coffee.

Saskia Martin @saskiacmartin

The End. Philippe Bechet had just finished the Bohemian Border Bash. He was slightly out of it after 1300km, and one of his hardest rides to date. Food is the only answer.

Iurii Makalis @makalisiurii

Tough and brutal year. Oleg Berezovskiy, coach of Athlet cycling team from Odesa, Ukraine checking his phone for news after short training session in team’s workshop during total blackout in the city. News, especially from teammates, is always a first priority. Since the beginning of war, all around Ukraine, cyclists transformed from cyclists, pro or amators into: volunteers, defenders or paramedics. And if there is a possibility - they use bikes and inform colleagues.

Gergely Schöff @greg.schoff

Mathias Flückiger, Thoemus Maxon rider signing the hand of a young fan after winning the short track race at UCI XCO World Cup, Leogang, Austria, 10/06/2022

Naike Ereñozaga Orue @naikefotosport

This one was taken during the Clásica San Sebastián. Daryl Impey among the cheering crowd...

Julien Messelier @julienmesselier

Pour la Suisse! Nail art & mud at Namur Cyclocross. Muriel Furrer and Jana Glaus, U23

Naike Ereñozaga Orue @naikefotosport

Primoz Roglic giving the bunch of flowers to his son in Itzulia. He stole the show every day at the podium!

Marco Loman @lomanmarco

Racing to the top.... The head group of the Ronde van Drenthe men (UCI 1.1) storming to the top of the Col du Vam, Drenthe, The Netherlands.

Julien Messelier @julienmesselier

Cyclocross choreography Inge van der Heijden - European Championships in Namur.


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