26-year-old Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder passed away on Friday, June 16, after crashing into a ravine on stage five of the Tour de Suisse. According to a press release from his team, Bahrain Victorious, he died around 11:30am local time at Chur hospital.

“We are devastated by the loss of our exceptional cyclist, Gino Mäder. His talent, dedication, and enthusiasm were an inspiration to us all. 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 Managing Director Milan Erzen

In response to the death, Tour de Suisse managers neutralized stage six, allowing the entire race field to ride the final 20 kilometers into Oberwil-Lieli as one. Mäder’s career highlights included a stage win at the 2021 Giro d’Italia, a fifth place finish at the 2021 Vuelta a España, and a fifth place finish at the Paris-Nice this past March.

According to the Associated Press, Mäder went off the side of the road on a steep downhill in the same spot as American rider Magnus Sheffield, who suffered some bruising and a minor concussion. In response to the accident, reigning world champion Remco Evenepoel criticized the dangerous downhill portion of the stage on Twitter.

“I hope that the final of today’s stage is food for thought for both cycling organisers as well as ourselves as riders. 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.” -Remco Evenepoel

Our thoughts go out to Mäder’s family, friends, and fellow riders.

Featured Image Credit: Team Bahrain Victorious via Facebook

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