(CNN) — Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder has died at the age of 26 after falling during the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse, his team, the Bahrain Victorious, announced on Friday.
Nearly 200 kilometers from the finish line, Mäder collided at high speed with American cyclist Magnus Sheffield, the race organization said in a statement on Thursday. They descended the Albula pass in the direction of La Punt where the stage ended.
Mäder fell into a ravine and was found motionless in the water, organizers said Thursday. He was resuscitated and transported to Chur city hospital by air ambulance.
“On Friday June 16, after a very serious fall during the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse, Gino lost the battle to recover from the serious injuries he suffered,” Bahrain Victorious said in a statement.
“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.”
In a statement, the Tour de Suisse declared itself “heartbroken”, paying tribute to an “excellent rider” and “a wonderful person”, while the UCI, world cycling’s governing body, called Mäder ” promising young man who was destined to form part of the important chapters of our sport”.
Mäder, who has been part of the Bahrain Victorious team since 2021, has already won stages in the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de Suisse. He also finished fifth overall in the Vuelta a España two years ago, winning the young rider classification in the process.
Mäder, one of the best Swiss cyclists and a popular figure in the peloton, advertisement last year that he would donate one Swiss franc ($1.12) to the fight against the climate crisis for every runner who finished behind him in the 2022 races.
“We are devastated by the loss of our exceptional cyclist, Gino Mäder,” said Milan Erzen, CEO of Bahrain Victorious.
“His talent, dedication and enthusiasm were an inspiration to all of us. He was not only a very talented cyclist, but also a wonderful person off the bike. We send our deepest condolences to his family. and his loved ones, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”
“Bahrain Victorious will race in his honor, keeping his memory alive on every road we race. We are determined to show the spirit and passion that Gino showed, and he will always be an integral part of our team.”
Sheffield, 21, who races for Ineos Grenadiers, was injured with bruises and a concussion after the crash, race organizers said on Thursday. He was transferred to Samedan hospital.
Later, Ineos Grenadiers reported that Sheffield had spent the night under observation in hospital after suffering a concussion and soft tissue damage.
There were poignant scenes in the last 20 kilometers of the Tour de Suisse stage on Friday, when the peloton retired in tribute to Mäder. Six riders from Bahrain Victorious were able to cross the finish line first and were greeted with applause from spectators lining the course.
— CNN’s Issy Ronald contributed to this report.