When I wrote my Tour de France update and created the Hochsauerland 2023 picture gallery, I hadn’t yet heard of the tragic news of Gino Mäder’s passing.
I, like many more, had hopes he would recover from his horror crash during the Albula descent during stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse.
But looking at the pictures from the crash site, the fact that he was actually dead and had to be resuscitated for 25 (!) minutes, were already bad omens.
While the cycling sport can never be 100% safe – and keep in mind we mere mortals do not have the road to ourselves – there was no real need for this downhill finish.
The Albula pass’ short end downhill is not very technical, which means even great descenders won’t gain a lot, but speeds get up to 80 – 100 kph.
A mountain top finish would have been perfectly fine, would not have made a lot of difference in time gaps and would have avoided this tragic death.
And every death is one too many, especially if it could have been avoided…