We don’t always think cycling is the most dangerous sport, but that doesn’t mean it’s 100% safe. Sadly, a famous Swiss cyclist, Gino Mäder, passed away at just 26 years old during the Tour de Suisse. A member of the Bahrain-Victorious team, he was considered one of the greatest modern-day cyclists.
Gino became a professional cyclist in 2019, just four years before his death, and placed fifth in the 2021 Vuelta a España race. He also won a stage of the 2021 race, came second overall in the 2022 Tour de Romandie, and was an incredibly popular cyclist. So what happened to 26-year-old Gino Mäder, and what was his cause of death?
Gino Mäder’s death was caused by a cycling accident during Stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse.
Sadly, cycling can be even more dangerous than sports like football and wrestling. Cyclists must cycle for hundreds of kilometers through tumultuous conditions, and in the case of Stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse, they sometimes have fast technical descents to the finish line. These descents can cause accidents, like Gino’s fatal crash.
Near the end of the stage, with just 14 kilometers left of the 211-kilometer stage, Gino got into a high-speed crash on the descent of the Albula Pass with American cyclist Magnus Sheffield. A doctor was reportedly on the scene in less than two minutes, and found Gino “motionless in the water.” 21-year-old Magnus suffered a concussion and soft tissue damage but appears to be on the up and up.
Although Gino was quickly resuscitated and airlifted to a hospital in Chur, he wasn’t as lucky. “It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we have to announce the passing of Gino Mäder,” an official statement from the Bahrain-Victorious team said. “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.”
The statement continued, “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 11:30 am 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.”
What exactly happened during the crash that caused Gino’s death is unclear, but it is likely related to how he was found unconscious and submerged in water. If he had any additional organ damage on top of losing the ability to breathe for several minutes, his injuries could have easily become fatal.
The team decided to keep cycling through the race in Gino’s honor.
Other cyclists have openly criticized the route that caused Gino’s death.
Professional cyclist Remco Evenepoel shared on Twitter before Gino passed away: “While a summit finish would have been perfectly possible, it wasn’t a good decision to let us finish down this dangerous descent. As riders, we should also think about the risks we take going down a mountain.”
Cyclist Adam Hansen also wrote in a since-deleted tweet (via The Herald), “After the horrible news at Tour de Suisse, Stage 5, Fiesch›La Punt. These types of finishes were a concern for riders. So I looked into the matter earlier in the year, and no rider wanted a dangerous finish directly to the finish and have at least 3km of flat section before.”
Several other fans and cyclists have taken to social media to share their condolences. We also send our condolences out to Gino’s friends, family, teammates, and fans.