Getty Images Sport cycling specialist, Bryn Lennon has scooped the prestigious ‘Sports Photographer of the Year’ award at the annual Sports Journalist Association awards in London.
His winning cycling folio won the ‘Specialist Portfolio’ gong and led to judges awarding him the ‘SPOTY’ title along with the Ed Lacy Trophy which is very much seen as the pinnacle of sport photography in Britain. With Laurence Griffiths also picking up the award for Sport Picture of the Year, it capped off a hugely successful evening for the team.
Along with the awards for Getty photographers, Lee Smith of Action Images won ‘General Sport Portfolio’ and Toby Melville of Reuters won ‘Sport News Picture of the Year’.
Getty Vice President of Sports Imagery and Services, Ken Mainardis said “We are very proud of the recognition our photographers achieved at the prestigious SJA Awards last night. The roll of honor for these awards is nothing short of a who’s who of the greats of British Sports Photography. We’re particularly delighted for Bryn Lennon’s well deserved recognition and the reflection it has on the sport of cycling which Getty Images is investing further into this year.”
Below, Bryn picks out some of his favourite pictures from the set and Laurence speaks about his award winning picture
“I felt very privileged to see my name etched onto the trophy beside that long list of illustrious names. It’s always a great night and it was all a bit of a blur as I walked up to the stage with everyone shaking my hand and handing you things. I’m still a bit shocked and its definitely not sank in!
It was the first time they had run the final stage of the tour that late in the evening, but they wanted something special to bring the curtain down on the 100th edition of the race and I was keen show that too. Unfortunatly the light was poor most of the time, but the sun came out briefly and illuminated the most iconic site in the TdF (for the riders and and the photographers alike!).
Fabian Cancellara had won that day and as I stood photographing the usual podium picture I saw Peter Sagan doing something with his hand out the corner of my eye, instinctively I zoomed out to see what he was up to! I’m not sure if even TV captured the moment and I know not many other photographers saw it, so the rest of the media were writing and commenting on what appeared to been happening solely based on my picture. I had to send it out, but I was a bit concerned as I thought I might have stitched Sagan up a little… then again, if you grope someone’s bum in front of the world’s media..!
I was very privileged to get to photograph Chris Froome coming through the crowd on Ventoux. A huge amount of stress, aggravation and speculation usually precede a stage like that one. These stages are known as the Queen stage of a race, usually the highest point of the whole tour and the toughest with it. There’s so much that can happen and you just hope that when the winner makes his move you are able to work and shoot him from the back of your motorbike. Everyone is super nervous from the riders to race organizers and the photographers.
The moto (the motorbikes that ride ahead and allow us to shoot the racers) regulators had called “pool” earlier on the climb which meant that only the designated “pool” moto could work, and we were told to ride further up the climb, but suddenly, they reopened it so we got one last chance to work with Froomey before the top. I was very pleased to see that when he emerged from the crowds, he was leading and looked like he was strong enough to go on and win. He had a fantastic ride that day and was a very worthy winner of the race. It’s an absolute privilege to be able to work so closely from a motorbike and to hopefully be there as and when race defining things happen. I’m not sure there’s any other sport where you get that sort of access.
Here is a link to Lennon's whole set
Laurence Griffiths – Sports Picture of the Year
It was a fantastic night and I was thrilled to win Sports Picture but it was a special night for Bryn Lennon who won The coveted Ed Lacy trophy with his fabulous set of Cycling pictures. It is always a great opportunity to reminisce with some old faces, the greats of the sports photography world, guys that have inspired and helped me hugely, Patrick Eager and Chris Smith are fabulous photographers and wonderful company.
I don't this is the first time a Premier League footballer has been caught with his pants down but it did make for a funny picture. It's quite a rare thing to capture a strong football picture with an element of humour and I think this is why the judges chose the image.
Sadly, due to a combination of nerves, red wine and questions from Mr Inverdale I didn't really get the opportunity on stage to dedicate my award to two legends of photography who are sadly not with us any more, Monty Fresco and Tommy Hindley. This one’s for you guys. RIP x