Our photographers pick their season-defining images from 2016. Photos by Andy Jones, Graham Watson, Yuzuru Sunada, Chris Catchpole and Daniel Gould

Yuzuru Sunada, Giro d’Italia

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When the conditions are good, the Dolomites always offer exciting racing, with steep gradients and dramatic views. This is Gardena — it is also well known as a location for the Skiing World Cup.

Graham Watson, Tour of Flanders

Tour of Flanders

Peter Sagan’s attack on the Paterberg won him the Tour of Flanders and elevated him to true superstar status as a Classics rider. Shooting with a long lens from a fixed position at the summit, we get a pinhole view of the action between a chicane of crowd barriers, with just a few seconds to capture the move. It rarely works out as well as it has here.

Graham Watson, Olympic Games

Olympic Games - Track Day 3

There’s a lot going on in this image of the women’s keirin in Rio — a Spaniard and a Kiwi tangled and my eye went straight to them as they slid along the boards. Only after I edited the photo did I see the Dutchwoman, Ellis Ligtlee, is racing ON the barriers avoiding an even more spectacular crash — and the Olympic rings added a third element to the shot. Phew…

Chris Catchpole, Mont Ventoux

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Ventoux, a mountain so shrouded in cycling history (and usually clouds) that it’s hard to separate thoughts of the mountain from the historic battles that have occurred upon it. On an unusually calm day I found myself taking a moment to enjoy a less obvious view, facing away from the famous tower and moonlike surfaces towards the green rolling hills.

Graham Watson, Tour de France

Tour de France - Stage 12

This wasn’t the shot I was expecting to get when I stopped about one kilometre from the Mont Ventoux finish on July 15. The crowd barriers began a bit further up, and this area was a mess, with spectators, motos, photographers and cyclists all vying for position — in hindsight the spectacular fall of Porte, Froome and Mollema was inevitable, but totally avoidable too. Not that the photographers were complaining.

Andy Jones, Buxton CC TT

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Ramshaw Rocks form the back drop to Dame Sarah Storey during her ride to third place in the Buxton CC Mountain TT, the second round of the RTTC Classic Series in March.

Graham Watson, Olympic Games

Olympic Games - Track Day 1

Sir Bradley Wiggins just had to be a part of my 2016 highlights gallery — the man’s a legend! I’ve caught him in his element at the Olympic Games, dragging his GB team around the track, lap after long lap, to keep them ahead of arch rivals Australia in the nail-biting final. Without Wiggins, the Aussies would have won. For all his mystique and stardom, Bradley just loves racing his bike, entertaining the fans, and letting his legs do the talking.

Andy Jones, National Cyclo-Cross Champs

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A big crowd looks on as Liam Killeen solos away to take his first National cyclo-cross title, in Shrewsbury, back in January.

Graham Watson, Abu Dhabi Tour

Abu Dhabi Tour - Stage 4

I caught a rare and very beautiful sunset on the Yas Marina F1 circuit at the Abu Dhabi Tour — but it could have been even better if the cyclists had pedalled harder and come around one more time before the sun actually dipped. Still, the setting of the sun over the last hour of the racing season was a very poignant memory of a very long season!

Yuzuru Sunada, Tour de France

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On Mont Ventoux, Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana were going strong. There were many people lining the road, and no barriers due to the finish line having been moved forward. When these two riders and Richie Porte began battling for the stage win, I started riding to the finish on my motorbike. But after just a few seconds, they crashed into the TV moto. It was a really historic stage.

Daniel Gould, Giro d’Italia

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We spent the start of the Giro with Fabian Cancellara, who talked to us about his plans for his final year of racing and what he plans to do once retired. Although ill for stage one he was still positive and focused on his last season as a pro.

Yuzuru Sunada, Tour de France

12 July 2016 103rd Tour de France Stage 10 : Escaldes-Engordany - Revel SAGAN Peter (SVK) Tinkoff MATTHEWS Michael (AUS) Orica - BikeExchange, at Port d'Envalira Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA

At the top of Port d’Envalira on stage 10 of this year’s Tour. The fog had limited visibility to five metres — but that didn’t deter Peter Sagan and Michael Matthews (and myself on the moto), who descended at speeds of over 100kph.

Daniel Gould, Tour de France

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The second time trial of this year’s Tour was defined by its hilly parcours. Chris Froome was expected to further broaden the gap he had on his rivals today — and he certainly didn’t disappoint.

Chris Catchpole, Tour de France

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The lead up to the Tour sees teams, fans and media converge in towns around the start, waiting for the chaos to begin. I enjoyed this moment of solitude as John Degenkolb of Giant-Alpecin is interviewed in a hotel storage barn.

Yuzuru Sunada, Giro d’Italia

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This was just seconds after Steven Kruijswijk crashed during the descent of the Colle dell’Agnello on stage 19 of this year’s Giro. Although already standing up here, the severity of his fall was such that this was the moment Kruijswijk lost a Grand Tour.

Andy Jones, Rutland CiCle Classic

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2016 CiCle Classic winner Connor Dunne (JLT-Condor) with Albert Torres (Raleigh) and Ian Bibby (NFTO) pushing on hard on the ‘Somerberg’ section, in April.

Daniel Gould, Tour de France

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After climbing above the crowds to a vantage point overlooking the Pas de Peyrol you could see caravans lining the road all the way to the top, with hundreds of fans waiting for the peloton.

Chris Catchpole, Fabian Cancellara

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After 16 years in the pro peloton and numerous technological advances, I photographed Cancellara standing with his brand new 2016 Trek Madone. I enjoyed the contrast of the old and the new and photographed him the moment he stopped to admire his bike.

Andy Jones, Track Worlds

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Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins celebrate after their Madison win at the UCI Track Championships in London.