Cyclist Dies After Mountain Crash in Tour de Suisse

Cyclist Dies After Mountain Crash in Tour de Suisse

A Swiss bicycle racer who crashed on a fast descent during the Tour de Suisse died on Friday, one day after he and another competitor tumbled into a ravine in the Swiss Alps.

The rider, Gino Mäder of Switzerland, was transported to the hospital after the crash on Thursday but died of his injuries on Friday morning, his team, Bahrain-Victorious, said in a statement.

Friday’s stage was canceled after race organizers informed the other teams and the race’s other riders of the death of Mäder, 26, about 30 minutes before it had been scheduled to start. The tour, an important prep race for next month’s Tour de France, is scheduled to continue through Sunday.

Some riders were in tears after hearing the news with the rest of the competitors. Race organizers said the peloton would ride together for part of Friday’s scheduled route in tribute to Mäder. The race is expected to resume on Saturday.

Mäder crashed along with an American rider, Magnus Sheffield, on Stage 5 of the weeklong race, a day that ends with a final descent down the Albula Pass, in the Swiss Alps. The final section where the crash took place, down an unprotected mountain road with mountains to its left and a step drop-off just beyond its right edge, was largely empty when the riders passed through it.

Mäder and Sheffield were treated where they came to rest, near a set of drainage pipes down a sharp slope. Sheffield, who was reported to have sustained a concussion and cuts and bruises, appeared to be able to walk back up the hill with assistance. Mäder was more seriously injured. After initial treatment, he was evacuated from the scene in a helicopter.

“Gino Mäder lay motionless in the water,” race organizers said in a statement after the crash. “He was immediately resuscitated and then transported to Chur hospital by air ambulance.”

Mäder and Sheffield apparently fell off their bikes and then tumbled down an embankment, according to another rider in the race.

“After a long curve, two bikes were lying on the side of the road, which didn’t look nice,” the cyclist Roland Thalmann told the Swiss broadcaster SRF. “When I looked back, I saw that two riders were quite far down.”

Another rider suggested the crash, and the area where it occurred, should be a warning to race organizers.

“I hope that the final of today’s stage is food for thought for both cycling organizers as well as ourselves as riders,” the reigning world champion Remco Evenepoel said on Twitter after the crash but before news of Mäder’s death became public. “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.” Evenepoel is in fourth place in the Tour de Suisse.

Mäder’s career highlights were a fifth-place finish in the Vuelta a España and a stage win in the Giro d’Italia in 2021. This season he was fifth in the Paris-Nice race behind the two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar.

Serious injury and deaths of professional cyclists in accidents are not uncommon, although they mostly occur in collisions with cars while training. In races, the danger is greatest on mountain descents, on which riders can reach speeds of 60 miles an hour.

The Italian rider Fabio Casartelli, a teammate of Lance Armstrong, died after a crash on a descent at the 1995 Tour de France.

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