Swiss climber who is as good at going down mountains as he is fast going up them
What are his greatest hits so far?
He won the queen stage of the Ronde de l’Isard in May. A couple of weeks later, he was third, behind two Colombians, on the first big mountain stage of the U23 Giro d’Italia. But in August he was flying and the 21-year-old, from Bern, won two stages in the Alps at the Tour de l’Avenir. He finished third overall too; not bad considering he went to the race to help his teammate, Marc Hirschi. And if you cast your mind right back to the 2014 world championships in Ponferrada and the junior road race, Gino made a last-ditch attack in the closing kilometres. He was only picked up 150 metres from the line.
Two stages in the Alps…like Geraint Thomas in the Tour?
Funny you should mention ‘G’, because Gino also does a bit on the track – he was the European junior silver medallist in the omnium in 2014 and has, in the past, spoken of his ambitions to ride on the track at the Olympics in 2020.
What’s his forte?
Climbing, obvs. But he’s also a dab hand on the descents. Both his stage wins at the Tour de l’Avenir had their beginnings in an aggressive descent. For the first win, he attacked with 8km to go on the descent of the Col de Saisies and held on up the final 2km ascent to win by 15 seconds. In the second victory, he was pulled back by a small group, but he dug in and won a close sprint against Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar. At more than 180cm, he’s tall and rangy, but his track endurance work means he’s a handy time triallist. “The Tour de l’Avenir proves that I have talent and that I recover well from one day to another. Racing grand tours is the dream,” he said. Put him down as an all-rounder, then, though if he doesn’t put on too much muscle, the mountains look like his most natural territory.
Currently that’s TBC. He admitted his Tour de l’Avenir win attracted WorldTour team attention, but he said he wanted to focus on the Worlds in Innsbruck before making a firm decision whether he graduates or stays in the amateur ranks for another year.