(CNN) — Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder has lost his life, aged 26, after suffering a crash on stage five of the Tour of Switzerland, his team Bahrain Victorious announced on Friday.
Nearly 200 kilometers from the finish, Mäder collided at high speed with American cyclist Magnus Sheffield, the race organization said in a statement on Thursday. They were descending the Albula pass towards La Punt, where the stage ended.
Mäder fell into a ravine and was found motionless in water, organizers said on Thursday, he was revived and taken to Chur city hospital by air ambulance.
“On Friday June 16, after a very serious crash during the fifth stage of the Tour of Switzerland, Gino lost the battle to recover from his serious injuries,” 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 at this incredibly difficult time.”
In a statement, the Tour de Suisse said it was “heartbroken,” paying tribute to a “fine rider” and a “wonderful person,” while the UCI, world cycling’s governing body, called Mäder a ” promising youngster destined to form part of 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 in the general classification of the Vuelta a España two years ago, also winning the young rider classification.
Mäder, one of the best Swiss cyclists and a popular figure in the peloton, announcement 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 outstanding 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 great person off the bike. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and to his loved ones, and our thoughts are with them in these difficult times.”
“Bahrain Victorious will race in his honor, keeping his memory on every road we ride. We are determined to show the spirit and passion that Gino showed and he will always remain an integral part of our team.”
Sheffield, 21, who rides for Ineos Grenadiers, was injured with bruises and a concussion after the crash, race organizers said on Thursday. He was transferred to Samedan hospital.
Next, 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 final 20km of the Tour de Suisse stage on Friday as the peloton retired in tribute to Mäder. Six victorious runners from Bahrain managed to cross the finish line first and were greeted with applause from spectators along the way.
–CNN’s Issy Ronald contributed to this report.