Swiss cyclist Gino Mader died at the age of 26, following a crash in the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse, his team, Bahrain Victorious, announced on Friday.
Race organizers said in a statement on Thursday that Mader, after nearly 200 km of racing, crashed at high speed with American rider Magnus Sheffield. They were coming down the Albula Pass towards La Punt, which is where the stage ended.
On Thursday, organizers said Meader fell into a ravine and was found motionless in the water, before he was resuscitated and taken to a hospital in Chur by air ambulance.
“On Friday, June 16, following a very serious accident during the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse, Gino lost his battle to recover from the serious injuries he sustained,” Bahrain Victorious said in a statement.
“Our entire team has been devastated by this tragic accident, and our thoughts and prayers are with Gino’s family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.”
In a statement, the Tour de Suisse said it was “sad”, honoring an “excellent rider” and “a wonderful person”, while the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, described Mader as “a promising young rider who was destined to be part of the important in our sport.”
Meder, who has been riding for Bahrain Victorious since 2021, has previously won the Giro d’Italia and Tour de Suisse stages. He also finished fifth in the general classification of the Vuelta a España two years ago, in the process winning the young rider classification.
Mäder is a top cyclist in Switzerland and a popular figure in the peloton announce Last year, he will donate 1 Swiss Franc ($1.12) to fighting the climate crisis for every rider who finishes behind him in the 2022 races.
“We are devastated by the loss of exceptional cyclist Gino Mader,” said Milan Erzen, Managing Director, Bahrain Victorious.
“His talent, dedication and enthusiasm were an inspiration to all of us. Not only was he an extremely talented cyclist, he was also an amazing person off the bike. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and loved ones and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.
“Bahrain Victorious will race in his honour, keeping his memory alive on every route we race. We are determined to show the spirit and passion that Gino has shown, and he will always be an integral part of our team.”
Race organizers said Thursday that the 21-year-old Sheffield, who rides for the Ineos Grenadiers, was found dead with bruises and a concussion after the crash. He was taken to Samedan Hospital.
Ineos Grenadiers later He said Sheffield remained in hospital Thursday night for observation after suffering a concussion and soft tissue damage.
There were poignant scenes in the final 20km of the Tour de Suisse stage on Friday as the peloton was neutralized in honor of Mäder. Six Bahrain Victorious riders were allowed to cross the finish line first and were greeted with applause from the spectators lining the track.
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