Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder in a picture taken on May 14, 2021.
Chur (Switzerland) – Twenty-six-year-old Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder succumbed to injuries sustained in a fall during Thursday's stage of the Round of Switzerland race in the hospital. His team Bahrain Victorious reported about it on the website. Former Czech cyclist Roman Kreuziger, who is the team's sports director, also expressed his condolences to the family and loved ones for ČTK.
The organizers of the traditional preparatory race before the Tour de France neutralized today's sixth stage due to Mäder's death. According to AFP, the peloton will only ride the final 30 kilometers and honor his memory.
Mäder went off the road at high speed in the final downhill and fell into a ravine. Doctors found him in the water, and since the rider was unresponsive, they had to resuscitate him. He was then transported by helicopter to a hospital in Chur, where he succumbed to his injuries.
“Gino was not only a great and talented athlete, but also a wonderful person. I am absolutely speechless. I wish his family and loved ones strength and I am thinking of them ,” said Kreuziger, who is in his second year as sporting director at the world's leading team.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we have to announce the passing of Gino Mäder,” Bahrain Victorious officials said on the team's website. “Everyone in the team is devastated and our thoughts and prayers are with Gino's family,” they added.
“It is a huge loss. Gino was not only a talented cyclist, but also a great person,” added team director Milan Erzen . “From now on, we will go for him at every race. And he will be part of our team forever,” he declared.
The American Magnus Sheffield also fell at the same place as Mäder and ended up in the hospital with a concussion. The descent therefore immediately became the target of criticism, even the world champion Remco Evenepoel called it unnecessary and dangerous.
“It could have ended at the top of the climb quite calmly. Letting us go down a dangerous descent was not a good idea,” said the Belgian. on twitter. “We have to think about the risk we are taking on such descents,” he added.
Mäder's death was announced half an hour before the start of today's sixth stage. Its start was therefore postponed and after a while the organizers announced that it would be cancelled. The peloton will only ride the final 30 kilometers in Mäder's honor.
“It broke our hearts,” the organizers wrote. “Gino, you were a great rider, but an even better person. You were always laughing and cheering everyone around,” they added on Twitter.
Mäder joined the Bahrain Victorious team two years ago and immediately won one in its colors stage at the Giro d'Italia. In 2021, he also dominated the young rider rankings at the Vuelta. He has also worked in the Dimension Data team.