Bahrain Victorious rider Gino Mader celebrates winning Stage 6 in Italy. File / Reuters
The 26-year-old Bahrain Victorious rider fell during a high-speed descent on the fifth stage between Fiesch and La Punt on Thursday, after an exhausting day marked by three ascents over 2,000 metres altitude.
He had been found "lifeless in the water" of a ravine below the road, "immediately resuscitated then transported to the hospital in Chur by air," organisers said. But the next day, "Gino lost his battle to recover from the serious injuries he sustained," Bahrain-Victorious said in a statement.
"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," the team added.
"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."
Ineos Grenadiers rider Magnus Sheffield was also injured in the crash and taken to hospital with concussion and soft tissue damage, according to his team.
In a Bahrain Victorious statement, team managing director Milan Erzen said: "We are devastated by the loss of our exceptional cyclist, Gino Mader. 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."
Erzen said the team would continue in the race in honour of Mader.
"We are determined to show the spirit and passion Gino displayed, and he will always remain an integral part of our team," he said.
Mader joined the Bahrain Victorious team in 2021 and won a stage of the Giro d'Italia that year. He also won the young rider classification at the 2021 Vuelta a Espana.
A statement from the professional riders' association CPA, read: "Our hearts bleed at this news. Condolences to his family, the team and the many friends who loved him. "Like all of us. RIP Gino."
Stage five of the Tour de Suisse had raised some eyebrows in the peloton because of its fast descent near the finish.
After the accident, Belgium's world champion Remco Evenepoel said 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."
The Olympic omnium champion, competing in the men's scratch qualifiers at the London venue, received treatment for more than 40 minutes before being taken away by ambulance.
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