SportsGino Mäder's death is coming along – DW – 06/28/2023

    Gino Mäder’s death is coming along – DW – 06/28/2023

    At the 2023 Tour de France, death is on board. During the three-week tour, the professional cyclists will always be reminded of their colleague Gino Mäder, who died almost two weeks ago. Mäder was 26 years old when he fell into a gorge on the descent from the Albula Pass in Graubunden during the 5th stage of the Tour de Suisse.

    The images of the slope and the colorful dots of the rescue workers gathered below have left their mark on the consciousness of many: the drivers who were right there, those who followed the race on TV and those who watched the sequences again and again on the Internet . With every descent the Tour de France peloton tackles, thoughts of Gino Mäder will shoot through your head.

    In honor of Gino Mäder

    “We want to ride in memory of him and dedicate this Tour de France to him,” announced the senior sports director of Mäder’s racing team Bahrain Victorious, Gorazd Stangelj, at the presentation of the current Tour de France squad. “We have extra motivation this year. All of us have been hit hard by the loss of Gino. We want to do our best for him every day, drive for him and honor him,” said team captain Mikel Landa.

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    The Basque actually wanted to build on his young teammates on this tour. Because the time was ripe for the Tour de France debut of the most talented Swiss professional cyclist of the present. Two years ago he shone with a stage win at the Giro d’Italia. At the Vuelta a Espana 2021, thanks to a brilliant attack on the penultimate stage through the hills of Galicia, he still finished 5th in the overall ranking. He unselfishly brought his captain Jack Haig to the podium of the tour. Mäder’s supervisors and teammates could hope for similar feats at this year’s Tour of France.

    Cause of accident unknown

    But then came the fall, the exact circumstances of which are still unclear. The investigations of the Swiss police are ongoing. Was it a material defect? Was it a driving error by Mäder or another driver? Mäder’s compatriot Stefan Bissegger, who was at the Tour de Suisse, told the Blick newspaper: “I didn’t classify the curve as dangerous.” Beat Wettstein, Head of Safety at the Tour de Suisse, also sees no exceptional danger. “The curve is easy to see, then it closes a bit before turning right again.” The surface of the road is good, said Wettstein.

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    Since Mäder’s death, helplessness and deep sadness have accompanied cycling, which has seldom been as united as through this drama. The drivers, the world association UCI and the organizers decided to convert the 6th stage into a memorial ride for Mäder immediately after the news of the death of the Tour de Suisse. On June 16, the professional cyclists reeled off the 20 kilometers with a moved expression.

    Rescue workers at the scene of the accident at the exit from the Albula PassImage: Zac Williams/picture alliance/KEYSTONE

    Greetings to heaven

    Whether world champion Remco Evenepoel on the 7th stage of the Tour de Suisse, Mäder’s compatriot Simon Pellaud on the Tour of Slovenia or the Slovenian Matej Mohoric from Mäder’s Team Bahrain Victorious (also on the Tour of Slovenia): Greetings to heaven and thus to the deceased Mäder has often been seen in the races of the UCI World Tour in recent weeks.

    Such statements can also be expected at the Tour de France. The greatest Swiss cyclist in history, Fabian Cancellara, described Mäder as a “great cyclist, but above all a good person” as part of a specially organized commemorative drive a week before the start of the tour in Bilbao. Cancellara was close to Mäder and had hopes of bringing the compatriot to his up-and-coming Tudor racing team as a winning driver next year.

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    Cycling idol Fabian Cancellara (front left) at the commemoration event for the late Gino Mäder
    Cycling idol Fabian Cancellara (front left) at the commemoration event for the late Gino Mäder Image: Michael Buholzer/KEYSTONE/picture alliance

    “The sadness keeps coming, sometimes completely unexpectedly,” Cancellara said on the sidelines of the commemoration on Saturday. “But I also smiled when I thought back to the conversations with Gino.” Despite all the sadness, the happiness that Mäder radiated should not be forgotten. On the other hand, the fact that his laughter can only be seen in photos and videos again contributes to the sadness.

    memories of other deaths

    It is not the first time that cycling has gone through a process of collective mourning since Mäder’s death. “Again, one of us had to leave too early,” tweeted Belgian professional cyclist Thomas de Gendt, no doubt thinking of his former colleague and friend Wouter Weylandt, who died after a fall at the 2011 Giro d’Italia. At the time, De Gendt summarized the risks of the sport as follows: “It’s a dangerous sport. But the moment you hit the brakes, you won’t win a race.”

    But deaths like that of Weylandt and Mäder are painful reminders of the question of prioritization in cycling. Victory and spectacle, life and death – what is most important in cycling?

    Source: DW

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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