BRAZO de Hierro's Shortlist

Feature image: Kristof Ramon | other photography as credited

The 2021 Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards closed just three days ago.

You’ve already seen the shortlist from Jojo Harper, and next is Brazo de Hierro’s shortlist.

Our panel of judges — Jojo Harper, James Startt, and Brazo de Hierro — will together make the difficult decisions of who will be awarded the Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year 2021 in both the Professional and Amateur categories. And we’re very lucky to have Graham Watson on the team, selecting his top ten in the Amateur category. Graham knew Mark very well, and Mark photographed for Graham over the years.

Final winners to be announced on January 12, 2022.

The Awards are a showcase for the talented entrant photographers, and they raise money for cancer research for Tour de Cure and the Young Cyclist Assistance grant for up to two young cyclists.

Enjoy Brazo’s top 10’s!

Cover image by Kristof Ramon @kramon_velophoto “Stage 16 (2021 Giro) was a monster with the weather and circumstances rough on the riders (and all of us following the race) up the Cima Coppi (highest point of the Giro) over the Passo Giau. Rain… snow… cold had many riders stopping at the top to properly change into warmer kit. When walking over the top to shoot some left behind riders coming down, all of a sudden clouds opened up and Mother Nature revealed her true beauty upon us as if to make up for the rough times she gave us all just earlier.”


Brazo de Hierro is an experienced and recognised Spanish photographer, capturing the essence of what cycling means to him.

In 2020, he who showed the world of cycling through lockdown, from behind the lens, like no other. Brazo has entered every year since the beginning in 2016 and he’s featured many times.

MC 263 R-3

“Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert are fighting in the waves of the North See during the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Oostende, Belgium on 31st January 2021.” Michal Cerveny @michalcervenyphoto

CR 190 R22

“In May I followed my boyfriend Francesco and his team mate Federico during their race at Tuscany Trail. In the photo we are in Monteriggioni, where to get to the town you have to overcome this very short and steep climb. Francesco stopped and started screaming for some cramps, while Federico, after passing him, continued pedaling until he reached the end.” Chiara Redaschi @chiara_redaschi

Abu Sheikh Sesay is greeted by fans after a monstrous solo effort on Stage 1. He finished second on the stage.

“Abu Sheik Sesay is mobbed by fans after finishing second at the The Tour de Lunsar. It is Sierra Leone’s first multi-stage bike race. There is no blueprint for cycling in Sierra Leone @lunsarcycling. The race is creating a platform for young riders to showcase their talents and are seen as local heroes.” Matt Grayson @mattgrayson_photo

JK 267 R-3
“Becoming a great cycling champion starts with being a great cycling fan. Future Champion.” Joris Knapen @jozza_cyclingpics
SH 46 R6

“The photo was taken in the bath and it is meant to represent Lotta just keeping her head above water. I had heard about the mental health stories in her life and how coming back to the world of cycling was a big deal for her. It was taken at the Ceratizit training camp. I had heard Lotta @lottahenttala had joined the team and asked if we can capture some styled portraits.” Sean Hardy @hardyccphotos

MP 224 R-8

“After the start of the Zilvermeercross it started to snow. As a result, the snow only stayed next to the racing line. What caused a beautiful leading line towards the leader of the race, Wout van Aert.” Mats Palinckx @matspalinckx

TM 278 R-2

“Simac Ladies Tour, stage 4, I think this has to be one of the worst conditions I’ve ever seen on a race, if not the worst. The riders were completely covered in mud and a good high-pressure jet was the best remedy to get rid of it all.” Thomas Maheux @thomas_maheux

DK 196 R-11

““A Shepherd and his flock” – taken during the 2021 Pan Celtic Race. Mike Sheldrake replenishes his energy with breakfast after what has been a tough few days on the bike. With a full stomach Mike begins to offer out the last remaining morsels to the local inhabitants before heading off on the rest of his journey.” Dan King @breakawaydigital

MM 108 R13

“It’s the last cycling event I shot for this year. It was raining for several days but luckily on this day we’re blessed with sun, creating a magical atmosphere out in the woods.” Michiel Maas @maas.rides

MV 563 R-3

“While waiting to cross the race course during the USA CX Nationals Single Speed race I decided to crouch down and grab a few frames just as this rider came flying up Mt. Abus shaking what appears to be a recently acquired can of beer. Just as he crested the hill a spectator in front of me began to ring a bell that read “ring for beer,” which was just the icing on the party that is CX Single Speed Nationals.” Mitchell Vincent @mitchtigram

TM 46 R-11

“The famous tunnel on the Mt. Lowe Railway Trail is always a photo opportunity, but for underdressed Angelenos on a snowy mountain, it was welcomed shelter from the wind.” Timothy R Mahoney @timothyrmahoney

MV 65 R8

“As a surf photographer with a passion for cycling and cx racing, who often shoots the surfers in Oostende close to the World Championships CX venue I could not hold myself to enter the freezing North Sea waters and try to get some images from an angle no one else could get. The idea came up when seeing the ladies race on Saturday. I knew it was a bit dodgy with all Covid measures yet I never expected this to get the (media) attention it got…” Maarten Van de Velds @mvv_photography

MV 310 R36

“As winter draws to an end, the first signs of spring appear. It’s the moment that so many keen cyclists have been waiting for: the reopening of the Alpine cols.” Maxime Vanyehe @maxime.visuals

SD 68 R8

“I took this shot during ‘Dwars door Vlaanderen 2021’. This was my second ‘official’ race I shot. As a starting cyclingphotography girl in a ‘menworld’, I can be very unsure. I was soooo nervous at the start, so I searched for a place without other photographers. Beside that, i’m always looking for an ‘not so average shot’. So upstairs was ideal! In this shot, I love those fluo helmets and the contrast with the stairs, the hand of the girl on her teammate’s shoulder and those straight lines.” Suzan Debuysere @suzandbsr

TB 540 R-6

“Moody morning at the top of my local pass” Tom Blackschleger @tomblackschleger

JP 560 R-3

“Ok, I have a confession. It was totally for the shot… I’m actually standing and taking this shot from a little bridge. But when I saw this opening I asked my friend Arnaud if he’d be willing to get his feet wet. Do it for the gram man. That said, I think there is something serein in this image.” Julien Payette-Tessier @payette

GL 356

“The final night of Fifth Street Cross in Emmaus, PA had epic rain and 25* temp shift occurred during the race. The race is at night and I thought I could capture the riders as they pass by the scoring tent. I tried a shutter speed (1/160) that would enhance the raindrops but also capture the riders suffering in the moment.” Gabe Lloyd @thegabelloyd

RC 39 R5

“The west bank has always been in the center of political disputes and still is, many of which escalated to violent conflicts. As a result, over the years many infrastructure projects initiated by both sides were left to decay before completion. Many of which are paved roads, most in the middle of nowhere and unconnected to any road system, requiring some unconventional paths to reach. One of the few times I was more than happy to have a puncture with a view like this.” Ronen Chernyak @ronenchernyak

MG 500 R-11

“This is the end of the epic trip tour, we spent many