Gino Mader He was a very loved rider within the peloton and a highly regarded person within his team, Bahrain. Last June, in the Tour of Switzerland, that of his country, an accident on a descent put an end to his life at the age of 26. Plus a great runnerit was common for him to carry out solidarity actions, especially in La Vuelta, collecting photos for an environmental NGO. At the start of this Tour, Pello Bilbao, who was Gino’s partner and friend, set out to keep this tradition alive. “Following in Gino’s footsteps and continuing his legacy, during this Tour I will donate to the Basos Fundazioa association (you dedicate to reforestation work in Viczaya) €1 for each runner who classifies after me in each stage. The objective is to buy land, deforest it and replant it with local species”, announced the man from Guernica at the start of the race in the Basque Country.
There are already 1,307 euros that add up, and I am sure that the number will continue to grow until the next 23rd, because he still has eleven stages ahead, practically half of the Tour. At the finish line, he was emotional remembering Gino, to whom he dedicated his victory as soon as he won in Issoire. These were difficult weeks for the team, with complications to prepare for this Tour on a mental level, because Gino himself was among the list of ten possible runners (eight participate) to be in the race. In addition, in this solidarity initiative by Pello, everyone can participate in crowdfunding to raise the figure along with their performance. “Gino will soon have a piece of forest in the Basque Country. Among those who make a donation of more than €50, I will raffle my jersey for this Tour de Franceto. Any help will be important and many small contributions can create big changes”, Bilbao published a few days ago. A nice way to always keep in mind the one who was your friend.