The 2020 Pinkbike Photo of the Year Winner is...

Mar 1, 2021
by Pinkbike Staff  
Jan Cadosch's Winning Image for 2020 Photo of the Year...


Riding in front of the Matterhorn just after some snowfall at sunset


We gave you the top 32 images from 2020 and after more than 345,000 votes were cast you, our readers, have voted for the winner and ultimately chosen the 2020 Photo of the Year presented by Jenson USA. The winner will be divvying up the $10,000 in CASH with the top four.

Check out the voting page for all the results from each bracket.

The 10th annual Pinkbike Photo of the Year Contest is a wrap and Jan Cadosch will be joining the ranks of Sean Lee, John Wellburn, Toby Cowley, Sterling Lorence, Christoph Laue, Steve Shannon, Robb Thompson, Richard Baybutt, and JB Liautard in the Pinkbike Photo of the Year Hall of Fame.



How Did Photo Of The Year Work?

From thousands of nominated photos, 32 were selected to pit against each other in a college basketball bracket-like showdown. At that point it was up to you, the users, to vote on the match-ups. The photos with the most votes moved on to the next round. So 32 photos narrowed down to 16, then 8, 4, 2 until there was a single photo deemed the 2020 Photo of the Year Presented by Jenson USA.



What was at stake? $10,000 Cash

Jan Cadosch will receive a check for $5,000
• Mason Mashon will receive a check for $3,000
• Ross Bell and Trevor Lyden will each receive a check for $1,000

There were also Voter Prizes this year. We are reaching out to the five winners of the $200 Jenson USA gift cards and will update this article when they confirm. Thanks to everyone for voting!




Thanks to Jenson USA.


We've reached out to Jan Cadosch for an interview.





249 Comments

  • 437 46
 i hate democracy.
  • 142 24
 #fakevotes
  • 78 6
 not the one i was expecting lol
  • 211 11
 congratulations to the winner, lovely picture, just not my personal favourite.
  • 30 3
 "I love democracy"

i.imgflip.com/2xfc2m.png
  • 12 1
 @edparry: Not mine either but still a great photo.
  • 8 0
 @Lukefuelex: Likewise, would have voted for the one from Stellenbosch. However, I have no problem with Swiss scenery taking the cake!
  • 38 61
flag yoobee (Mar 1, 2021 at 13:06) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah. Empowered mediocrity.

A scenery shot of the Matterhorn, and a biker crossing accidentally... MTB photo of the year??? lol

Reminds me of the cute cats at YouTube.
  • 175 5
 While not my first choice, I'm satisfied with the winner.

1. Is it good photography? Yes.
2. Is is aesthetically pleasing? Yes, its beautiful.
3. Does it inspire me to ride my bike? Yes.
  • 35 11
 Shoulda been the turndown.
  • 75 20
 #rossbellgotrobbed
  • 22 6
 China be like, "You really want democracy? HAVE YOU HEARD OF PINKBIKE'S PHOTO OF THE YEAR CONTEST!?"

I like the winner but wish Aggy got some cash.
  • 21 3
 @edparry: Without reading all the comments, this is the only one that should be posted. Enough said:

"congratulations to the winner, lovely picture, just not my personal favourite."
  • 8 4
 It's a great shot but I was pulling for Kamloops. Also, why is everyone one calling Monte Cervino 'Matterhorn'?
  • 7 2
 right beautiful picture just happens to have a biker in it @edparry:
  • 7 29
flag Curse-of-the-foot-long-sub (Mar 1, 2021 at 17:06) (Below Threshold)
 who the f*ck is voting on these pictures? russian bots? virus infected zombies? donald? what we need is a little "click on the traffic lights" box
  • 4 0
 @Curse-of-the-foot-long-sub: Those aren't actually security challenges, that's just lazy AI companies using us to train their AI to differentiate like humans do - for free. Well, the host site gets paid, but we are teachers.
  • 7 9
 That sums it up perfectly. Guy riding on a wet road. Probably sponsored by some boutique rain pants brand.
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: oh you mean Mont Cervin?
  • 3 1
 @suspended-flesh: it's because one part of the mountain is in Switzerland, the other in Italy. The nearest Italian village is called Cervinia, the village on the Swiss side is called Zermatt. Therefore the different names. Locals in Zermatt call it "Horu".
  • 2 1
 There is a highway in the background
  • 4 0
 @harmar: I think that's a train track.
  • 1 1
 Maybe would be better change the contest format and from the nominated photos judges/photographers will choose x amount photos, from that people would vote for their favorite pic and narrow it to 10 final photos and from that judges/photographers will choose the final result.
  • 4 0
 It wasn't my top choice either, but it's a pretty damn nice shot, and at least it's not an ebike.
  • 2 1
 @lukasontheedge:
I didn't Ike the result.

Therefore let's change the rules to create a result I like.

Or, maybe just accept a democratic result? Nothing is going to be more fair.
  • 1 0
 @geephlow: Except it is
  • 1 0
 @toxie: Whooosh but thanks for going to the trouble!
  • 1 0
 @harmar: It's the Gornergrat Train
  • 2 0
 @Ktron: Gerrymandering for how the initial match ups were set up

and even Primary skullduggery for how some photos who where in the top ten for nominations didn't even get selected by PB to be in the final 32
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: Because it has three names. Half of it is located in the german speaking part of Switzerland.
  • 1 0
 @mdscherrer: At least 3 names! Probably more.
  • 1 0
 @dualcrownscottspark: Agreed, but he also got $1000!
  • 191 51
 Ross Bell got robbed.
  • 110 48
 It was by far the best shot in the final 4. People are voting for scenery rather than mountain biking.
  • 115 6
 @jayacheess: Don't know about you but for me being in the woods and experiencing nature is part of mountain biking. Nice scenery is a big part of my favorite rides.
  • 91 8
 @jayacheess: The guy in the winning photo is riding on one of the most iconic Mountain ranges in the world. What is more Mountain Biking than that?
  • 59 35
 @steflund: Whistler
  • 28 3
 @steflund: I voted for the winning picture in most of the earlier rounds because I agree with you. But an amazing action shot seems more important than a scenery photo that may or may not include a mountain biker when looking for the mountain biking photo of the year.
  • 14 16
 @steflund: Nah they probably just drove up that road you can see, took one photo on that corner as the sun came up then went home.
  • 14 23
flag bishopsmike (Mar 1, 2021 at 12:47) (Below Threshold)
 @jayacheess: People are voting for action shots rather than mountain biking.
  • 29 3
 @bishopsmike: I'm sure this made sense in your head before you wrote it.
  • 19 10
 @jayacheess: and that's a problem how?

When I see a picture of a scene, regardless of the presence of a biker(s), I envision my self in that scene.

So yeah, people are voting for the best scene.

If I want to watch mountain bikers getting "rad", then I'll go riding or I'll watch a video.
  • 8 14
flag TobiasHandcock (Mar 1, 2021 at 12:57) (Below Threshold)
 @bishopsmike: Pretty sure mountainbiking is about action, particularly Pinkbike, which has been about Freeride, DJ and DH from the start.
  • 7 1
 @TobiasHandcock: Not even on a trail haha!
  • 14 2
 @jayacheess: Some of us look for composition, lighting, focus, depth, emotion, location, technical difficulty, creativity and the spirit of mountain biking.
  • 5 4
 Robbed two years running.. I thought his splash photo last year was better than this years
  • 3 0
 @TobiasHandcock: Pretty sure that's a train track with electrical lines strung on the poles along the track to supply power to the train.
  • 1 1
 @steflund: those silt bluffs that aggy road are pretty iconic as well
  • 1 1
 @CaMKii: if ur biking slow enuf to take in the scenery ur not a real mtber
  • 1 0
 @jayacheess: people voting for a mountain bike on an actual mountain with one of the worlds most recognizable mountains in shot? This was always going to win it's easily the most awe inspiring
  • 130 42
 Banger of a photo. Well deserved.
  • 23 9
 it IS a damn good photo. Congrats. Pay no mind to these heathens. Their mentality runs something like: "Well... no public hanging AGAIN this week. Let's go over to pinkbike and roast some people that have the courage to create something for us to tear down."
  • 84 5
 petition to have a comment of the year vote for 10k cash
  • 21 2
 Be careful, otherwise waki might come back Wink
  • 9 2
 @bashhard: make Pinbike great again.
  • 58 5
 What an honor!' Thanks to everyone that voted. So many insane and inspiring picture.
  • 12 1
 Congrats Jan, beautiful photo!
  • 8 0
 Well done.

My #1 pic from the start.

Magnificent photo.
  • 7 1
 Awesome photo, was in my top 2 from the beginning!
  • 6 0
 Had this as the backdrop on my PC for since i saw it, awesome photo Jan ( @jcadosch )!! Gets me stoked to go ride in Zermatt area again which is what a photo should do Smile
  • 1 0
 Congrats Jan!
  • 119 72
 I'm stoked for Jan, but really disappointed in PB users that *this* was the winning shot. Sure, a lot of us ride bikes to be out in the beautiful world, and this is a very beautiful scene, but... this photo has little to do with what (I thought) we all love about mountain biking. In this photo we have someone riding a bike, wearing a weird backpack, down a wet track, with powerlines- sorry, this just doesn't "capture" the experience that I would hope brings most of us to bikes. Where's the flow here? Is this actually a trail or just a road bed? Even the "beauty of nature" is marred by powerlines and man-made shite - the location (despite the Matterhorn) doesn't even seem rugged or remote. What am I missing y'all? Someone care to explain why you picked this one?
  • 81 70
 Sorry, this is a really silly response. I appreciate you have an opinion here, but, wow, what a cranky and narrow-minded comment! My first thought when I saw the photo, mind you, I haven't seen any other contestants' photos, was "wow. This brings me back to the days of bike magazines when the photography was as important as the articles". This is an incredible photo, in my opinion. I could picture shredding that trail, the photo puts me right there. What an incredible scene.
  • 57 20
 @skills25: " i could picture shredding that trail" there is no trail. that sir is a road, maybe a path, at a push.
  • 21 9
 @skills25: Go and look at the other pictures.
  • 34 12
 @TobiasHandcock: Well, given that this photo won out of however many votes and photos, I'm clearly not alone here in thinking this is an incredible shot. What a bunch of sensitive folks on here! Go ride!
  • 15 6
 @edparry: Imagine being in that moment, in that spot, going down whatever you want to call it. I would be completely enamored by the scenery. I can't imagine staring at the "path" and ignoring the magnificence of the surrounding area and just being grumpy about it. Maybe that's just me!
  • 37 4
 Blah, blah, blah, I'm upset cuz my team didn't win. It's not abut winning or losing, it's about the game. Enjoy the awesome pictures these folks have taken, pick your personal favorites, but try not getting all wound up over your team not winning. You're not actually on the team unless you are the photographer who took the picture, just saying...
  • 8 9
 @skills25: Yeah but go look at the othrr pictires lol, trust me there are some bangers. Especially Ross Bells, you're missing out if you don't.
  • 2 0
 @TobiasHandcock: Got it, I'll check them out! I'm sure there are a bunch of awesome photos. That's the thing with the bracket/democratic voting system. It's zero sum!
  • 4 2
 I was more surprised by the fact pinkbike users apparently genuinely care about water bottles when that came up in a poll. Just goes to show what you think is an obvious majority view isn't necessarily the case.
  • 7 1
 "this just doesn't "capture" the experience that I would hope brings most of us to bikes."

Some people fail to see the forest for the trees. Step a few feet away from the screen and look at the picture again!
  • 6 14
flag gally-nh (Mar 1, 2021 at 14:33) (Below Threshold)
 @mobilechernobyl: The guy is riding in the snow and mud while his bike and clothes are completely spotless. Call me crazy but that doesn't exactly capture any sort of real experience of what riding in those conditions would be like. It is so obviously staged to the point that it comes off as borderline patronizing in that context, especially with the addition of a pointless backpack.
  • 11 2
 Man, whatchu talkin’ ‘bout Willis? I’d love to be on that ride, on that trail, in that moment. Also, it could be that I’m looking at a small screen, but I’m not seeing the power line. This is a really nice photo.
  • 2 4
 What are you missing? others' perspectives, clearly. "I, I, I..." was all i took from your post.
  • 3 5
 Agreed. Nice scenery, riding isn't that compelling, trail looks boring, maybe riding an access road on a resort? I think people just like the nice sky and clouds tbh. The riding doesn't really matter.
  • 4 3
 @skills25: @skills25: Right. Plus, there's no such thing as what constitutes an objectively 'good' image. Everything is contextual. And I personally would a million times rather be that guy riding down that trail that morning, than having someone time and snap a photo of a maneuver I'd practiced. Wanderlust, isolation, no travel... all these things are factors in what 'wins'.
  • 8 3
 @Lokirides : "this photo has little to do with what (I thought) we all love about mountain biking."

I'm not sure why you think you and I, or all of us, have the same thoughts on what is to love about mountain biking, and by extension, why we ride. And I don't care to explain to you why this photo appeals to me because you don't need it...you've clearly stated your omnipotent opinion that "this just doesn't "capture" the experience that I would hope brings most of us to bikes." That doesn't sound like you're that interested in what anyone else thinks.

Looking forward to seeing your winning photo next year...
  • 19 1
 @gally-nh: having ridden this exact spot . I can tell you the road in the background is actually a venicular railway. Height at this point is 10,000ft. And there is absolutely zero mud here. Just rock slab and shale . The bit hes riding on that some folk are unsure if it is a trail or road or path. Is a well worn hiking trail that gets very gnarly in many places.

I'm not entirely sure if you can cycle the whole way up. But nearest civilisation is Zermatt about 5000ft below this photo so 99% of folk take the vernicular railway up . Hence his lack of mud, hes just stepped off the train ready to hit a brutal 5000ft descent . This is normal in Europe

For me in scotland, this doesn't represent my mountainbiking world. But I bet this is exactly represents the experiences and aspirations of tens of thousands of European mtbers.
  • 3 0
 @gally-nh: sorry its annoying me i cant seem to edit my post and i spelled funicular wrong. funicular railway not venicular.
  • 3 0
 @forkbrayker: Thanks for the context. That makes it even more so appealing to me as I joined this site back in the year 2000 when it was a primarily a freeride page like it's sister site NSMB.

I started riding in area where shuttle riding was huge and I was lucky to live through that era! This photo exhibits the thrill before "dropping in"! Way cool.
  • 55 13
 The bracket system is worse than the US presidential primary electoral process.
  • 14 0
 Well that's not saying much now is it.
  • 1 0
 What’s the answer?
  • 2 0
 @rockyflowtbay: DEATH MATCH
  • 9 1
 Similar results too. Loud idiots think their loudness counts as 3 votes.
  • 44 4
 Please Pinkbike. Next year at least do a ranked voting system for the first 32. Then you can do a bracket for next rounds with the highest seed going against the lowest seed.
  • 6 1
 Straight bracket system works fine when there is no second place.
  • 2 0
 That does make some sense.
  • 4 1
 Ranked choice is a great idea. Even double elimination would be better at properly ranking the runner ups.
  • 50 13
 I think it's a great shot, both in subject and composition, and I commend the winner.

To those who lament that it's not enough about some trick:

The vast majority of mountain biking isn't about tricks. I'd bet that 95+% of all mountain biking is just getting out into nature on a bike and riding. Representing mountain biking as a whole isn't about what a relatively small percentage of people do.
  • 16 7
 Pink bike doesn't represent mtb as a whole.
  • 16 4
 @TobiasHandcock: And neither does the photographer. But pinkers voted this photo and they do represent which photo wins. So what's your point?

Personally when I saw the photo I was really impressed; it represented an amazing mtb ride. The mega shred photos didn't do it for me.
  • 10 1
 @TobiasHandcock: It does more and more every year.
  • 3 2
 The "trick" is to get a photo without a bunch of man made crap captured, preferably on singletrack.
  • 6 1
 @ryanbouma: absolutely its about relatability. this photo captures alot of what it is to ride in mainland europe for european riders....and therefore thousands of european voters would have voted for it. it ticks a lot of boxes not least the main one for me being it would be a dope photo to have framed up on your wall for visitors to see and talk about.

like you say doing a backlfip or whatever off a machine built jump or whatever does not relate to 99% of riders. rad style off of a jump is cool for sure but just not something most of us can relate to........but maybe bunnyhopping that wee rocky bit to the right would have been cool and something we could all relate to lol.
  • 2 0
 @forkbrayker: And why do we need to relate? I'd rather see a photo and get my mind blown than look at a photo and see someone sitting down on a flat corner, but with a nice view.
  • 3 0
 @Theo-F: fair point. ive no idea how different folk vote on these things. i was as surprised as any one to see this photo get to the final precisely for the reason you just described. Me talking about relatability pish was just me trying to understand why this photo ended up the top dog. As you rightfully point out you could easily argue the other way round - that seeing something you can't relate to means you are seeing something that blows your mind. i voted on relatability and what would look sweet hanging in a frame in my lounge. thats the problem with art- everyones views are different none are particularly wrong

i reckon this won its because of the way things were seeded at the start. this photo had some weak competition so it went further, and other really strong photos like my favourite... the dusty roost photo in yellow and black was up against loads of other really strong photos.
  • 24 6
 Everyone's entitled to an opinion - there's always gonna be the "Joe Shmoe got robbed" or the "jane doe got robbed" crew. But man, you can't deny that Jan's photo sure as shit paints an incredible picture and captures the essence of mountain biking....getting out on your bike in the mountains in awesome places. May not have a roost or a flippy whippy but its a hell of a pic. Congrats to Jan, gets me excited for winter to be over.
  • 4 7
 Photo is a great scenic shot, but it's not mountain biking. The guy is cruising on a gravel road practically. MTB photo of the year should include some action and scenery.
  • 22 3
 Why does everything have to be a f*cking argument? Great shot. Well done!
  • 28 9
 Absolutely stunning shot
  • 15 3
 Lots of butthurt people here, but I for one would love to put this picture in my garage. And no, the riding isn't great, but it does something just as important: makes me really want to go riding in the alps again!
  • 17 6
 Don't often get bent out of shape in Comments but I don't recall quite this much narrow-mindedness in a while here, let alone to do with photos we had nothing to do with where (mostly) everyone is now a professional photographer.

POY winner doesn't mean you have to stop liking the photo you really liked. I'm also sure that the photographers here have other work and portfolios and their lives aren't crashing down because a bunch of pylons like us allegedly don't know how to vote in an allegedly shitty bracket contest.

Like I said before, the loudest voices here get upvotes but the majority voted this way. Make your peace and quit being a*sholes to the winner.
  • 15 1
 Can everyone just shut the f*ck up and enjoy the nice photo?
  • 2 0
 "Can everyone just shut the f*co up and enjoy the..." should be the header to every Pinkbike comments section since the beginning of time.
  • 19 6
 I'm glad the roost shot didn't win.
  • 8 0
 Congrats to the winner! So many amazing shots, and fantastic variety in both the photography styles and subject matter. I had my own personal favourites (like everyone else), but every shot was special in its own way.

While each photo is a well-crafted artwork, it's notable in the comments that we all have pretty strong ideas about what mountain biking means to us, and we're so drawn to images that fit those ideas (and sometimes react in disgust to those that don't!). It's a shame to see so many negative comments, especially when the whole process is simple democratic voting. But there you go...
  • 12 2
 Dramatic scenery, cool that a mtbiker somehow made it in the picture. More seriously, congrats!
  • 19 7
 Nah
  • 40 32
 LOL brutal. what a bummer. There were far better “mountain biking” shots that didn’t even make the cut. This is a mountain bike photo of the year, not fire road scenery photo of the year.
  • 19 11
 We can just call it Mountain Photo of the year, don't need bike in there
  • 12 3
 Time to get rid of the Pinkbike comment section. What's with all the neg comments? Every single post is full of it, cheer up friends, bikes are fun.
  • 13 4
 love the picture! was gunning for it to win since the beginning, shows the adventure and freedom of biking!
  • 16 20
flag gally-nh (Mar 1, 2021 at 13:16) (Below Threshold)
 It shows an awkward dude barely making a corner on a friggin dirt road who walked up said dirt road from the paved road a few hundred feet away, and got his picture taken in some beautiful mountains.
  • 5 0
 @gally-nh: What you see is not a paved road but a rail road (Gornergrat-Bahn). Wink
  • 7 1
 Can’t say I was expecting this to be the overall winner, not through any fault of the shot, just through the competition and personal preference, so congrats to Jan nonetheless! Awesome shot that clearly a lot of people like, you don’t win a competition like this through luck!

I really do hope we see a different format to the voting in next year’s competition though!
  • 13 7
 Great photo (and they were all great photos!) but I have to ask a question and this will probably be met with criticism...who rides down a wet, snow covered trail but doesn't have a drop of water, mud, or dirt on their clothes, bike, or tire sidewalls?
  • 14 5
 *a guy in a staged photo
  • 10 2
 Remy Metailler.
  • 17 0
 The photo is from the very top of the descent from the Gornergratbahn. He’s like 10 metres from the train station, hasn’t had time to get muddy yet. It is a phenomenal descent.
  • 1 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: Thanks for the clarification but I had to bring it up, anyone with a discerning eye would notice that. It wasn't a dig or attack so much as it was an observation. I will say though, as someone who has purchased your stuff I'm disappointed that you responded to this comment faster than my last email though (almost one month ago).
  • 1 0
 @rybrentd: Sorry if I missed an email from you! Not knowing who you are from your username though I can't go look it up, but if we didn't reply, please re-send your email. We do get a huge volume of emails daily though, and we were closed for a couple of weeks due to a staff Covid case around the start of Feb, so that may have been factor.
  • 7 1
 I love scenery, I love mountain biking, I love having the opportunity to witness some great people doing some great things. Thanks to all the people who put so much work into this!
  • 15 10
 The election was completely robbed from Ross! He clearly won by a landslide! All the fraudulent mail-in ballots sent to the radical Jan Cadosch supporters made him falsely lose the election. Another example of a sad hoax perpetrated by big tech and big pharma. #MakePinkbikeGreatAgain #Bell2024
  • 3 1
 Sad!!!!
  • 12 4
 Great photo, but we can't ignore that it is on a gravel road.
  • 9 2
 No Props, No Artificial backlighting, just an amazing shot. Congrats Jan.
  • 4 0
 Winning a vote isn't necessarily about providing the "best" Option but convincing enough people to vote for your Option. Thats how Democracy works.
Neither my Favorit but still an eyepleasing Picture of the beautiful Landscape above Zermatt. Totally understandable why thousands of Tourists pay a little Fortune to ride the Train up there and enjoy the View.
Congrats!
  • 5 1
 I bet 90% of people whining about the votes are looking at the photos on a small phone.
Tip #1: Look at the photos on as big a screen as possible like they're meant to!
Tip #2: Stop whining, learn how to take photos and enter yourself!
  • 8 3
 Awesome shot, but I think no photo of 2020 would be completely without showing a mask or hand sanitizer or looking for toilet paper. LOL
  • 8 2
 It just seems like he's a fraction of a second from having the front tire wash out.
  • 11 8
 DARKFEST SHOULD HAVE WON AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH.
The riding in the fest photo was 10/10, the lighting was 10/10, the centering, editing, and overall execution of the photo was 10/10. And the blue flow dad army has yet again picked a photo of an unskilled rider on an easy trail with a decent view.
  • 4 0
 Aesthetically, it's hard to deny that the winning pic is a great shot and I can see why it won. Congrats to the winner and everyone else's who's photo was good enough to be in the running.
  • 28 22
 This is some real shitf*ckery right here.
  • 14 9
 Incredible shot! Congrats to all the finalists but the best photo won! Democracy at its finest!
  • 6 0
 Yeeeeeeessssss! Favourite from the start. Congrats Jan!
  • 5 1
 Yaay, an ebike on a flat gravel road (albeit in a helluva beautiful spot) won Pinkbike pic of the year!! 2020 certainly was a weird year..
  • 7 1
 Congrats Jan!
  • 2 1
 Is their a certain way these should be judged? A lot of unhappy people in the comments but I don't really see whats so bad? Personally I wouldn't say its bad nor would I say its easily the best. Its a sick picture is it not? A somewhat technical looking trail with a crazy nice view behind it. Should the winner be picked on how stylish the rider is looking, the trick the rider may be doing, the gnarliness of the trail the rider may be riding, the surrounding nature? Its pretty confusing on how they should actually be judged or picked.

Maybe in the future they should leave it down to professional riders or photographers who don't photograph mountain biking. That way it would maybe come out based on mountain biking and not scenery?

All in all I still think that picture looks insane, but I do see how some viewers would rather the winner be a picture where the riders skill level, and the photographers skill level is really being advertised to the voters.
  • 4 3
 Scenery shot? Democracy? Nah, just a lot of people voted to sectretly express their love for e-bikes, back packs and fireroads - feelings they're forbidden to express publicly on Pikebike.
Ross Bell failed to conjure any of those inner feelings in people...
  • 2 1
 Of all the strange criticism from people that are hurt that their favorite didn't win is in my opinion that the photo was "staged" as if any of the photos in the contest was not carefully planned, set up and perhaps even rehearsed and timed carefully to get the exact light and angle they wanted. Do you really think _any_ of them just happened to have photographer nearby?
  • 4 0
 I have to disagree with you on this, for the most part anyway. Obviously all of the shots were ‘set up’ in the sense that the rider and photographer knew the other was there one way or another, but past that, I feel there were at least a few shots where that was the full extent of the planning. This is why, along with other changes to the format, I feel each ‘chosen’ photo for the competition should be accompanied by a brief explanation/back story of the photo
  • 1 0
 The winning pic brings me back to one of my favorite mountain biking experiences... EVER!!
Ya'll gotta checkout Bike Mountain Bike Adventures footage of their Switzerland/Cloudraker trip @ ridebig.com That's not a highway and the trails are ridiculous from atop the gornergrat bahn... I think that's the name of the train that provides access to the top... better than any chairlift Smile
  • 1 0
 Maybe would be better change the contest format and from the nominated photos judges/photographers will choose x amount photos, from that people would vote for their favorite pic and narrow it to 10 final photos and from that judges/photographers will choose the final result.
  • 1 0
 It's a mountain bike on an actual real life mountain. With one of the worlds most recognizable peaks perfectly framed. Hes above the clouds. It's totally awesome. When they start making berm bikes, street bikes, forrest bikes etc I'll vote accordingly. Best photo won
  • 5 2
 Do folks really think there was voter fraud going on? Matterhorn collusion?
  • 4 0
 It was Eiger Sanctioned.
  • 3 0
 I have ridden this very trail several times. Great photo of a great trail in a great area.
  • 1 0
 The winning photographer has much better shots (imo) taken that day in the same location, which for information is the area by the Gornergrat railway in Zermatt, tracks and electric lines visible in the pic, its not a road.
  • 27 23
 The best shot won!!!!
  • 18 7
 No. The shot with more votes won.
  • 26 22
 what the actual fuck.
  • 8 4
 What's in the backpack
  • 3 7
flag gally-nh (Mar 1, 2021 at 13:59) (Below Threshold)
 Great question.

Not sure what you need a backpack for when it's pretty damn obvious they parked on that paved road just before sunrise and ran up to get the shot. I guess the backpack makes it seem like it's some big "adventure that captures the spirit of mountain biking."
  • 4 0
 It's an intriguing backpack. Looks like a fictional parachuters pack. Maybe this is the guy that smuggles the spy shots to PB...
  • 3 0
 @50percentsure: apparently when you try to post laughing emjois it just posts a bunch of question marks.
  • 1 0
 tea a drink with jam and bread
  • 2 0
 @gally-nh: Even though this picture is taken just around the corner from the top of the Gornergratbahn, the next stop is 15km og 5000ft of elevation down the valley.
  • 6 5
 Congratulations on winning Jan!

Also I hope at least a part of the winnings goes to coaching the rider in your shot how to corner. Where is he going?
  • 4 5
 when influencers go biking....
  • 10 7
 YES! My favourite from day one.
  • 2 0
 That looks much better than our half frozen freeze/thaw crap trails right now!
  • 12 9
 Riding down a dirt road? Lame.
  • 2 1
 Not a dirt road but a rocky singletrack down "Gornergrat". Everybody loves different things so it's not possible to meet everyone's expectations.
  • 1 0
 @michi220573: that’s not singletrack. The graded road with the power lines in the background kills the mood.
  • 2 0
 @DHhack: I have been there every year since 2010 and I think I know it better. In the background there is not a road but a (do you say) rack railway? It is called Gornergratbahn, a train that brings you up to almost 3.100 m above sea level. The trail the biker actually rides on is a singletrack that brings you back down to Zermatt. The trail is about 10 km and almost 1.500 m descending. And it is at least 95% actual singletrack. Here you can see it:

www.mtb-news.de/forum/t/hochtouren-fotos.302729/page-100#post-7502892

www.mtb-news.de/forum/t/die-besten-single-trail-freeride-pic-s-teil-1.434931/page-318#post-12188814

But who cares. In the end it is all about riding bikes and presenting people who ride their bikes and the photo is absolutely stunning in my opinion. The contest was not about photos of singletracks. So peace and love ...
  • 9 10
 This honestly looks like someone gave this "rider" a brand new blinged out bike and the photog said "think you can ride around this corner without killing yourself?" He replies "Probably. I'll see what I can do" Photog says "Oh yeah, and don't forget this sweet backpack."
  • 8 6
 Did anyone actually like this photo, tbh I thought it was one of the worst best photos.
  • 7 5
 disappointing, the rider isn't doing anything cool, no style or skill is apparent in that rider.
  • 3 0
 Great image though, well done to the photographer.
  • 1 0
 The coolest photo of all the contest years that embodies the spirit of Pinkbike was 2014's. And maybe 2011 and 2019. Others less.
  • 3 2
 Lovely picture, bit over exposed imho. Use the money you have won to buy a really good set of ND graduated filters, 2 or 3 stops down on that sky would have worked treat.
  • 1 1
 I voted for Kamloops picture. The rider and the photographer teamed up for a great picture with some intense mtb action. The winning photo is an excellent picture but would have been just as good without the bike in it.
  • 4 1
 SKINWALL rules Wink
  • 6 6
 this is a nice picture, but the bike seems secondary and not really that active in the shot.. pretty disappointed to be honest.
  • 4 6
 WHAT?! One, Ross Bell got robbed. Two, after Jan got past Ross, I thought for sure there’d be revenge and everyone would vote for Mashon. Plus he won by a larger margin than Jan. I guess everyone was tired of Williams Lake/river whatever type pics? ... honestly I didn’t like it in the earlier rounds for that reason, but between the final two I just thought Mason’s photo was better. Again, not “dissing” them or the others. Rolleyes Just think there were multiple better photos - neither of those were my favorite two.
  • 3 5
 Great photo......but it is a photo of a mountain range that just happens to have a bike in it - a bike that has a motor on it, no less and not even a true bicycle. The Kamloops picture was actually a picture of someone riding a bike. Judges failed.
  • 1 0
 You forgot to tell us the criteria for correct voting. Sorry for voting for the wrong photo!
  • 3 3
 Dude riding what looks like an e-bike with skinwalls down an icy access rd + magenta toning in the highlights to make it look like sunrise/ set?
Good composition though.
  • 3 0
 Congrats to the winner.
  • 2 0
 A pink photo for Pink's Bike contest... Not bad, really nice photo!
  • 3 1
 Butt shot for the win?.. Yeah... Nah.... Nope.
  • 1 0
 Beautiful photo!! Also there is a bike but my eyes keep rolling towards the Matterhorn Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Congrats - hell of a class Photo! So many amazing photos guys!
  • 10 12
 Man, Ross Bell got so robbed (and so did Mason Mashon in the final but Bell should have won the overall).

At least looking at the comments people are now seeing some sense, shame it's so late. I got some flak before for saying this is turning into a National Geographic contest.

The winning pic, oh boy...
- ass shot: check
- unnecessary biker in an otherwise nice nature shot: check
- weird rider position (you can tell he's not actually riding but almost doing a trackstand to be where the photog wants him): check
- Fire road instead of trail: check
- Taken 100m from the road which they drove just to take the shot and back home right after: check
- Railroad close in the background of this "wilderness" shot: check
- spotless bike and kit on a wet, muddy fire road because it wasn't an actual ride: check
- pointless huge backpack to pretend he's on an "epic mountain adventure": check
- Just nothing remotely interesting from a mountain biking perspective; no good riding, no good trail, no reason for anyone to look at it and want to be in that rider's shoes except for the nice sunrise over Matterhorn that you don't need a bike to appreciate: check

I guess I shouldn't complain though because at least it's not one of those pics where we have to believe a dot at the bottom of the frame is a person on a bike. I'm happy to admit this is slightly better. I wouldn't even mind this type of pic if it was from an actual trip report, like something Matt Hunter or Hans Rey would bring from one of their exotic bikepacking rides. Those "adventure" photos have to be authentic to work and this is so obviously not.

And inb4 "iT iS a BiKe AnD iT's In ThE mOuNtAiNs So It'S tHe EsSeNcE oF mOuNtAiN bIkInG". No it's not. When you ride your road bike up Stelvio you're on your bike and you're in the mountains too. That doesn't magically make it mtb.


When has PB audience become allergic to photos of better riders than ourselves displaying their skill? How did we go from hanging posters with Bearclaw's 360 drop sequence shot on our garage walls to voting some dude posing on a fire road as PoY?

It's not like some other contenders didn't have beautiful backgrounds, fantastic composition, lighting and general photography technique/creativity. Let's be real, they got voted out because a bunch of IMBA rad dads couldn't stand seeing anything above mediocre riding, let alone wheels in the air. Ffs. Quo vadis Pinkbike?
  • 3 0
 @banaowy idk why you're getting downvoted this is hilarious hahahhah
  • 3 1
 A trackstand on an access road. Great skill, much impressed, big wow.
  • 3 3
 UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGG. That picture is great but seriously how did that win. Nothing in that picture took any skill from the rider.
  • 6 0
 Its a photo contest not a rider contest!!
  • 1 0
 @Three6ty: LOL , Beat me to it .
  • 1 0
 @Three6ty: OK true, but I do like to reward people who can do more than turn their handlebars 50 degrees lol
  • 4 2
 Meh. Rider looks awkward. I never voted for this one.
  • 2 0
 as semenuk said: what a sick fire road!
  • 1 0
 Rbwr. Ross Bell was robbed. Nice mountain pic but it definitely ain't mountain biking pic of the year.
  • 5 5
 Hey guys! glad you saw my mtb photo! swipe up to get 10% off your next patagonia purchase
  • 5 5
 Ugliest photo ever. Looks like one of those Atalaya Evangelical magazines cover.
  • 4 4
 i agree 100%
  • 2 5
 At least it wasn't another photo from BC, I made sure to vote against every one I could from there! Just kidding, I am just jealous I can't come there and ride anymore. PLEASE open the border...we even got rid of the douchewaffle in Chief!
  • 6 5
 The Kamloops picture should of won. Y’all suck
  • 4 3
 Really awesome landscape photo. Pretty boring riding shot.
  • 3 4
 Glad a lesser known photographer took home the cash, but still don’t think this should have won. Tired of Matterhorn pics plus it’s scenery first biking second.
  • 2 3
 Don't know how I feel about an ass shot subject of the photo and power lines in the background, being the best photo. Pinkbike voters, bad job.
  • 1 0
 I preferred the one like this but with the two riders an the fluffy clouds
  • 5 4
 total lame picture shaaaaame
  • 3 4
 Blue flow dad army has yet again picked a photo of an unskilled rider on an easy trail with a decent view. Photo would've been great without the rider.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a pb POY (is the new Session) eh
  • 2 2
 Sooooo many butthurt people jeez, get over yourselves and congratulate the winner. That's how voting works.
  • 1 1
 I am voicing my displeasure to the ignoramus result of the photographic contest.w
  • 3 3
 These comments:
He's in pants, I ride in shorts, totally lame and unrelatable.

It's a banger. Was in my top 3.
  • 6 5
 nice
  • 6 5
 already forgot this poy
  • 4 5
 Love the scenery but there were some shred + scenery pics I liked a lot. Shred or Die!
  • 4 5
 it's not an objectively bad photo but why couldn't y'all vote for something with a little more energy
  • 1 3
 The photo is good, but PB is something about extreme MTB?.. )
Most extreme object on this photo is the mountain.

Matterhorn wins!!
  • 2 3
 Now I’m gonna let you finish but Mason Mashon had one of the greatest photos of all time!
  • 3 2
 Banger. Love it.
  • 1 1
 #ChristophBreinerGotRobbed
  • 1 0
 Deserving.
  • 1 0
 wwwhhhhhaaaattt ??????
  • 15 16
 APRIL FOOLS ahaha oh wait thats a bit early
  • 3 3
 Bruuuuuuuh
  • 8 8
 I spy an e-bike...
  • 3 3
 Me too, just realized! It is an e-bike! Well, that's funny. I'm fine with it.
Will there be regrets now? lol
  • 3 2
 @yoobee: I voted for this photo, so I`m OK with e-bikes, I just don`t own one... yet !
  • 5 8
 Can't help but think there needs to be 2 competitions, one for POY relating to the rider and another to account for technical photography ability
  • 7 7
 Booooooo
  • 4 5
 Landscape photo of the year. This always happens.
  • 2 5
 Every year same stupid comments Pinkbike should think about disabling comments on some posts to not spread negativity. Congratulations to the winner
  • 3 1
 Uh, no. Every year a few people share differing comments over several different photos. Widespread support for the same photo with hundreds of users venting? Not regular.
  • 4 5
 Result seems strange.
  • 7 9
 im depressed now
  • 6 8
 Lame worst of the bunch
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