The Mark Gunter Photo Awards: Véronique Rolland's shortlist

The Mark Gunter Photo Awards 2022 are now closed and our judges have begun compiling their shortlists. Next up with their finalised long list of images from the professional and amateur categories is renowned photographer and visual artist Véronique Rolland

Véronique Rolland is an artist whose work in still and moving image centres on our relationship with nature and the environment. Her work has been widely exhibited and acquired by major international collections including the National Portrait Gallery and Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and Pompidou Centre, Paris.

Rolland began her career as a portrait photographer, undertaking editorial assignments for titles including the Sunday Times Magazine, the Guardian and the Independent, moving towards fine art projects in the early 2000s. 

I found the level of entries very high in this year's competition which made creating a shortlist of just 10 in each category very difficult.

In particular, I was looking out for images that go beyond the ‘classic cycling image’ we are accustomed to; images that would tell the story of the ongoing evolution of the sport. I judged the entries over several days and the same images kept standing out because of their meanings and emotions.

I was very happy to see that many photographs were about kindness and human connection, not only the competitive aspect often associated with cycling.

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

Cover image by Suzan Debuysere @suzandbsr in the amateur category:

“What a year for Lotte! It won’t be easy to do better in 2023, but I really hope she will! I took this one after her great win at ‘De Ronde”

Professional category:

Anouk Flesch @anoukflesch

“The second edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes. For many riders, getting a picture in the iconic showers in Roubaix is just as important as a picture of them during the race itself. Here is Flora Perkins (Lifeplus-Wahoo) after her first Paris-Roubaix participation.” 

 Aleksandra Sulikowska @olasulikowska1

“The power of sight. Jolanda Neff always has time for her fans. I adore the way this girl is looking at her. Pure admiration.”

Lian van Leeuwen @saltlake_lian

“Larger than life. Team AMANI’s team captain Sule Kangangi (leading out his teammate @sjord5an_schleck in the image) tragically lost his life after crashing at high speed during a race in Vermont in August 2022. Gaping holes are left when giant’s fall. Sule was a giant. But the memory of Sule, and the path he set out together with Team AMANI to create equal opportunities for East African cyclists has only become clearer over the last few months. It’s time to change the face of cycling.” 

Eloise Mavian @eloisemavian

The final stage of the Tour de France Femmes ended on the super Planche des Belles Filles. When Demi Vollering crossed the finish line she directly went to lie down on the ground, exhausted. Her mother was holding her hand and she quickly jumped over the barriers to hold her tight. She had a big smile on her face and was constantly whispering to Vollering while she was trying to catch her breath. I stayed on the ground enjoying this beautiful magical moment between mother and daughter.” 

Matthew Flemming @matthewjamesfleming

“Victoria Peel of Hope Tech, early on in the Three Peaks CX, September 2022. Seen here ascending Simon Fell at great pace. she went on to claim first place overall in the female category.” 

Francesco Rachello @strict

“This is the late Davide Rebellin pictured at home during an interview one month before his tragic death caused by a truck driver while doing what he loved the most: riding his bike. He had announced his retirement as a professional cyclist just a few weeks before.” 

Alen Milavec @alenmilavec

“This photo was made at Giro dell'Emilia this year. It was before the start when Urška Žigart came to the UAE Team Emirates bus to say hi to Tadej Pogačar. They were talking for a bit and then they kissed. I captured the moment when Urška’s eye appeared on Tadej’s golden sunglasses. It shows the true love between the two great riders.” 

Michal Cerveny @michalcervenyphoto

“Daniel Oss is being hugged by his fan after he earned a silver medal at the first ever UCI Gravel World Championships in Cittadella, Italy.” 

Harry Talbot @visualsofharry

“Kevin Vermaerke punctures on stage five of the Tour de France. His soigneur 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 in front of a team car to an assisting fan. I shot the saga in disbelief at what I witnessed. I love this sport.” 

Juan Felipe Rubio @thebreakaway.co

“A different kind of fan giving away a different kind of support!” 

Amateur category: 

Stuart Baker @stuhbaker 

“Lina Hernandez from Columbia waiting to start the women’s individual TT during the World Championships in Wollongong 2022.”

Saskia Martin @saskiacmartin 

Through the crowds. The intensity of Roubaix means you need to push through the crowds to try and capture the peloton finishing.” 

Lewis Allan @lewisallanphotography 

2022 was a historic year for women’s cycling, and when the Tour de France Femmes was announced I knew I had to be there to take pictures and soak up the atmosphere. I caught this candid shot of the young girls supporting and cheering on the women as they neared the top of this epic climb.” 

Gabe Lloyd @thegabelloyd

“It wouldn’t be a season at Fifth Street Cross without a torrential downpour. The racing images from the night were cool, but this moment of reflection by Darrell summed up the night well. Soaking wet, covered in dirt, he’s taking a moment to reflect on why he’s even there. I used a slower shutter speed to capture the raindrops but kept it fast enough to capture his details in low light.” 

Edoardo Frezet @cicloreporter_photos

“Vittoria Bussi, former world record holder in one-hour track cycling, trains indoor. She aims at reconquering the record in 2023 with her self-funded project Road2Record, with a new bike and a whole new team and sponsors.” 

James Middleton @jmidphoto

“Tiny riders. Yet another from the three peaks race and one that sums up cyclo-cross – you’re either on the bike or the bikes on you. I saw these two ant-like cyclists from a distance and knew I needed to go for the silhouette shot. Thankfully, they lined themselves up perfectly in different poses for me too!” 

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.” 

 

Stijn Bastens @stijn_bastens

Marvel. Admiration. Emotion. Inspiration. 
Isn’t that what sports is all about. Thalita de Jong during a derny criterium in Wilrijk – Antwerp. And a young marvelled fan.” 

Jenna Leigh @jenna7788

Three years ago, on a local loop through southeast London, I met a family of foxes. Since then, I’ve visited them a few times a week and their gentle curiosity has never failed to raise my spirits.”