This is not a day to celebrate. The news that came in from Switzerland this morning is the kind you would never want to hear: Gino Mäder lost his life yesterday after a terrible crash on the Albulapass descent. Nothing more needs to be said in the face of the disappearance of a 26-year-old boy, talented on his bike and, as all those who knew him said, just as splendid in everyday life.
Meanwhile, however, with heavy hearts and tears in our eyes, it is our duty to cover Stage 6 of the Giro Next Gen, with the world’s best U23 riders sparing no effort in the Pergine Valsugana-Povegliano. A bunch sprint was expected, but things didn’t turn out that way, because Sergio Meris, Alessandro Romele (Colpack Ballan) and Davide De Pretto (Zalf Euromobil Fior) took off after the Valico della Fricca descent, pushing hard all the way to the end.
Eventually, Romele managed to outsprint his fellow adventurers and take stage win. Unfortunately for him, the greatest achievement of his career so far has come on one of the saddest days for cycling. Romele knows this well: “They told me of Gino’s passing while I was celebrating, it was shocking news, it really hurts. I dedicate this victory to him; we will remember him forever. We don’t often realise how close we get to losing our lives every day on the saddle, whether it’s training rides, a car in the wrong spot or a dangerous descent. It’s true, these dangers are part of our sport, but we have to come together and try to reduce any kind of risk as much as we can”.
After all, cycling is one big family. Today we have lost one of our own. Today we all mourn. Rest in peace Gino.