Swiss climber who is as good at go­ing down moun­tains as he is fast go­ing up them

Procycling - - PROLOGUE -

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.

Where next?

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.

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