Bahrain Victorious rider Gino Mäder has died following a high-speed crash at the Tour de Suisse.
The 26-year-old was found unresponsive after crashing into a ravine on the descent of the Albula Pass during Thursday’s stage five. He was resuscitated at the scene and airlifted to hospital, where he later passed away.
In a statement released on Friday morning, Mäder’s Bahrain Victorious team wrote: “It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we have to announce the passing of Gino Mäder. On Friday 16th June, following a very serious crash during stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse, Gino lost his battle to recover from the severe injuries he sustained.
“Our entire team is devastated by this tragic accident, and our thoughts and prayers are with Gino’s family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.”
“Despite the best efforts of the phenomenal staff at Chur hospital, Gino couldn’t make it through this, his final and biggest challenge, and at 11:30am we said goodbye to one of the shining lights of our team.
“Gino was an extraordinary athlete, an example of determination, a valued member of our team and the whole cycling community. His talent, dedication, and passion for the sport has inspired us all.”
🙏🏻 Gino, thank you for the light, the joy, and the laughs you brought us all, we will miss you as a rider and as a person.❤️ Today and every day, we ride for you, Gino.🔗 https://t.co/CSx5BsWfRz pic.twitter.com/caBmfmWwygJune 16, 2023
Bahrain Victorious managing director Milan Erzen said that Mäder was an "inspiration", and that the team will race in his honour.
“His talent, dedication, and enthusiasm were an inspiration to us all,” Erzen said. “Not only was he an extremely talented cyclist, but a great person off the bike. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, and our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.
“Bahrain Victorious will race in his honour, keeping his memory on every road we race. We are determined to show the spirit and passion Gino displayed, and he will always remain an integral part of our team.”
Born in Flawil, Switzerland on 4 January 1997, Mäder turned professional as a cyclist in 2019 with Team Dimension Data. He joined Bahrain Victorious in 2021, and went on to take a maiden Grand Tour stage victory the same year, winning stage six of the Giro d'Italia.
Passionate about the environment, Mäder raised €4,529 for a climate change charity during the 2021 Vuelta a España, pledging €1 for each rider he finished ahead of on every stage. He finished fifth overall at the race, and won the white jersey as the highest-placed young rider.
Following the news of the rider's death, the UCI tweeted: "The UCI is devastated to learn of the death of professional cyclist, Gino Mäder. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and everyone connected with Gino who was a rising star within the professional ranks of cycling."
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