The tragic accidental death of Gino Mäder († 26) shook the sports world. The professional cyclist from Switzerland fell on the 5th stage of the Tour de Suisse from Fiesch to La Puntbei and later succumbed to his serious injuries. After the fatal incident, his friend and colleague Michael Schär, 36, has now commented.

“He made me laugh – that’s how I will remember him,” the Swiss is quoted as saying in “Blick”. The professional cyclist still cannot understand the loss of his companion. “Everything feels surreal. Like a bad dream where you feel like you wake up and everything isn’t true. I wish Gino’s family and everyone who loved him a lot of strength.”

Mäder went off the road while descending the Albula Pass and fell into a ravine with the American Magnus Sheffield. While Sheffield got off relatively lightly with bruises and a concussion, Mäder had to be resuscitated on site and taken to Chur hospital. There the doctors fought in vain for his life.

Schär, who will end his career after this season, was one of the last to see Mäder alive before his fatal accident. “I am a helper and had driven my relief. Then Gino overtook me and made a joke about the long race,” Schär remembers the encounter on the track. “And a short time later something like this happens.”

Schär’s sympathy goes especially to Mäder’s survivors. “I feel so sorry for Gino’s family and those around him. He was such a grateful person who always looked out for everyone else.” After the dramatic incident, the Swiss racing team Tudor Pro Cycling and the Belgian cycling team Intermarché-Circus-Wanty also took part shortly after Mäder’s racing team Bahrain-Victorious left canceled. The Tour of Switzerland was completed nonetheless, and in the end the Dane Mattias Skjelmose took overall victory.